Development and clinical trial of a practical vessel imaging system for vessel punctures in children

Natasha J. Cuper, Rudolf M. Verdaasdonk, Rowland De Roode, Erica Septer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)


Venipunctures to draw blood for diagnostics can be cumbersome. Multiple puncture attempts are distressing, painful and traumatic, especially for small children. Drawing blood from babies, in particular, is a problem, due to the cutaneous baby fat, tiny veins and, worst case, a pigmented skin. We developed a practical vein viewing system based on IR translumination that, contrary to commercial systems available, has the advantage of: a) low cost, b) easily implemented in routine practice, c) normal and IR image simultaneously available, d) small add-on, e) child friendly IR illuminator and f) efficient IR light coupling. Before introducing the vessel viewer for clinical application in the children's department, parameters were measured in 194 patients (age 0-17 yrs): time to draw blood, number of attempts, skin characteristics, discomfort of patient, and experience of nurse. In this control group, time to draw blood increases significantly with decreasing age of the children. The instant feedback from the nurses has been valuable for the improvements of especially the illumination sources. A clinical trial has been performed in 125 patients (age 0-6 yrs) to prove effectivity of the system in the blood withdrawal procedure. There was a significant decrease from 13% to 2% in failure rate. Also time needed to search for a vein was significantly decreased. A practical and accessible vein viewing system has been developed and is being introduced for clinical application. Although the concept of patient friendliness is already accepted, measurements need to show the effectiveness for particular groups of patients.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvanced Biomedical and Clinical Diagnostic Systems VI
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2008
Externally publishedYes
EventAdvanced Biomedical and Clinical Diagnostic Systems VI 2008 - San Jose, United States
Duration: 20 Jan 200821 Jan 2008
Conference number: 6

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


ConferenceAdvanced Biomedical and Clinical Diagnostic Systems VI 2008
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose


  • Arterial lines
  • Blood withdrawal
  • Children
  • Near-infrared
  • Vein
  • Venipuncture
  • Venous access
  • Vessel imaging


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