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Automated Venipuncture Device Facilitates Rapid Blood Draws

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 17 Feb 2020
A robotic venipuncture device can safely perform blood draws on peripheral forearm veins, according to a new study.

Developed at Rutgers University (Piscataway, NJ, USA) and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (New Brunswick, NJ, USA), the new device combines ultrasound imaging and near-infrared (NIR) light to locates the patient’s blood vessels and identify suitable vessels for cannulation. It then reconstructs the vessels in 3D using image analysis; finally, miniaturized robotics guide an attached needle toward the selected vein, inserting the needle right into the lumen center.

Image: A robotic venipuncture device draws blood with high success rates (Photo courtesy of Rutgers)
Image: A robotic venipuncture device draws blood with high success rates (Photo courtesy of Rutgers)

According to previous studies, venipuncture fail occurs in 27% of patients without visible veins, 40% of patients without palpable veins, and 60% of emaciated patients, even when done by professionals. But in recent clinical studies of the robotic device, it demonstrated results comparable to or exceeding that of clinical standards, with a success rate of 87% for all participants, a 97% success rate in non-difficult venous access cases, and with an average procedure time of just 93 seconds. The study was published on January 22, 2020, in Technology.

“A device like ours could help clinicians get blood samples quickly, safely and reliably, preventing unnecessary complications and pain in patients from multiple needle insertion attempts,” said lead author biomedical engineering doctoral student Josh Leipheimer, MSc. “In the future, the device could be used in such procedures as IV catheterization, central venous access, dialysis, and placing arterial lines. Next steps include refining the device to improve success rates in patients with difficult veins to access.”

Blood draw procedures occur 350 million times annually in the United States alone. Almost 28% of adult venipunctures and 44% of pediatric venipunctures draws require more than one stick to successfully draw blood, and around 10% of children 3-10 years old must be physically restrained for a needle-based blood draw. Repeated venipuncture failures also boost the likelihood of phlebitis, thrombosis, and infections, and may require targeting large veins in the body (or arteries) at much greater cost and risk.

Related Links:
Rutgers University
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital



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