Hard-to-find veins can no longer cloak from newly-acquired technology at Bridgewater's South Shore Regional Hospital (SSRH).
A recent campaign by the Health Services Foundation of the South Shore, a local charity that fundraises for Lunenburg and Bridgewater hospitals, led to the SSRH's ambulatory care unit winning $10,000 in a friendly contest toward purchasing an AccuVein-made vein-visualizing machine.
The competition is the annual women's giving circle. It hears pitches about various hospital projects with the pledge receiving the most votes from event attendees snagging the five-figures-worth of charity-funded support.
Lunenburg County hospitals have benefited from over $80,000 raised via the women's giving circle since 2014.
SSRH's ambulatory care manager, Michelle Tipert, said the new equipment will mean a big difference for patients and staff. "We want to make people better and (not) having to poke people several times to get treatments going or (we) can't get access or have to do something more invasive, it will make a difference in their care and mean time for us to focus on other things," she said. "I think it will be a win-win all the way around."
The machine, which at the time of the interview with Tipert was expected to arrive by late January, resembles a large TV remote control. The device shines a light on a patient's skin and shows the operator an outline, or map, of veins, making for a treasure trove of choices for health care professionals wanting to start an intravenous line.
Tipert said the idea to seek the gear came from a staffer who heard about the technology during a conference and thought it would do wonders here. Older adults, generously-framed individuals or those with darker skin attribute to complicated scenarios for professionals trying to narrow down a suitable vein.
"All sorts of factors can impact it," Tipert told LighthouseNOW a few weeks ago. Outcomes improve, she said, when the first "stick" is successful.
The device is portable and can be used throughout the SSRH site. Babies, children, even critically ill patients in intensive care or those in oncology going through chemotherapy could benefit from the focus offered from a vein visualizer.
Tipert said ambulatory care presented during previous women's giving circles but this is the first time the vein visualizer idea was raised as a proposal.
The cost of the equipment, including a mobile stand and charger, is just over $9,600.