Intravenous (IV) access is a critical component of patient care for many individuals. It allows the health care provider to give the patient medications or fluids in a manner that provides the fastest route of absorption in the body. There are multiple reasons why being able to obtain intravenous access on patients is a crucial component of patient care. However, in many patients, it is difficult to obtain. Not all individuals are easy when it comes to starting IVs. They may have weak veins that “blow” when an IV is inserted.

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They may also have veins that are difficult to find. There is a solution to this problem: a vein finder. This piece of equipment will provide the nurses assistance in establishing an IV in their patients. Since the company currently has to hire outside help when patients need IVs, it will save money for the company in the long run. Due to these issues, I would suggest the Deer Brook Nursing and Rehabilitation Center buy a vein finder. This would reduce the cost associated with hiring an outside agency to come to the facility and establish IV access.

There are multiple reasons why IV access is critical for many patients. For the Deer Brook Nursing and Rehab, we are seeing an increase in patients who are post-operative patients. Many of these individuals require IV antibiotics due to their post-surgical complications, which include actual infections, or the need to prevent an infection. There is always a risk of sepsis developing in any individual with an infection. It is crucial that sepsis is prevented in all post-surgical patients.

However, if they have an infection, they also develop a fever, which may precipitate dehydration in the patient. IV fluids are required in these cases to prevent a worsening of the patient’s signs and symptoms. Also, if the individual is vomiting and cannot keep any food or fluids down, IV access is the only way to prevent dehydration in the patient. With regards to medication administration, there are distinct advantages to giving medications in an IV. The medications bypass the gastrointestinal system and the liver. The liver deactivates many medications in a “first pass” metabolism, reducing the efficacy of the medications. The level of reduction may vary in different individuals based upon the relative health of their liver. IV access prevents this first-pass effect, increasing the efficacy of the medication. For some patients in severe pain, IV medications provide the best way to control the pain for the patient. (Pain Community Center).

A vein finder is a device that has an extremely bright light to illuminate the veins. When placed over the arm of an individual, it helps to “light up” or illuminate the vein. While veins are not always easy to see in normal light, they will appear when exposed to a bright light. Once the health care provider finds the vein, the health care provider may proceed to inserting an IV catheter into the vein. If the health care provider cannot find a vein, it is impossible to know where to “stick” the person with the IV catheter. This is particularly true in individuals with darker skin tones, or individuals who are heavier. When there is a large amount of subcutaneous fat, it is sometimes impossible for the health care provider to “feel” the vein and the direction of the vein.

There are most certainly patient populations where the use of a vein finder is critical. These patients include those of African-American heritage, individuals with Asian heritage, and obese patients. In these patients, the conventional method of locating a vein had a decrease in the success rate of locating a vein for cannulation. However, when the infrared technology was used, the success rate increased significantly. For instance, when attempting to find a vein on an obese individual, the conventional method allowed the health care provider to find 4.5 veins. However, when the use of a vein finder was used, 8.2 veins were located on the obese individuals (Chaio 3). One must consider that obesity is a serious problem in the United States with over one-third of Americans classifying as obese. Over one-third of the patients at the rehab will be obese then, on average, and have the associated difficulties of IV access (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

When an IV needs to be established on a patient, the current guideline calls for requesting a contracted company to come to the facility and establish the IV. This is not necessary. There are RNs at the facility who can establish an IV provided they have the correct equipment. In the modern world, this correct equipment includes a vein finder. They cost approximately several hundred dollars each, and obviously, there are models that are more or less expensive. The facility would not need more than two. Only one would likely be used at a time. The second one would be as a backup for the IV team at the facility. By purchasing these, it would be possible for the team at the rehab to start IVs with ease. This would increase the speed at which IV treatment begins, since we will not have to wait for the outside agency to respond. It will also reduce the overall cost of providing this vital treatment for our patients.