Here’s how we used to find a difficult vein. If a floor nurse could not get an IV in, they asked one of their colleagues to try. If their colleague could not find the impossible-to-locate vein, they contacted an ICU nurse. If the ICU nurse couldn’t get one, sometimes an ER nurse or a flight nurse would try. If they still couldn’t get an IV, then I would be paged to ask if they could get an order for an anesthesiologist to try. And if the anesthesiologist couldn’t figure out how to find a difficult vein, we got a PICC line with the PICC nurse or with the radiologist or I placed a central line if the patient could not wait for a PICC line.
That’s how we used to find a difficult IV.
How do we find one now? If you’re on the floor, you use one of these cheaper vein lights to find the difficult vein and place your IV. However, if you work in Happy’s ER, now you have a $6,000 Star Trek looking vein finder for those dehydrated nursing home patients and cracked out meth heads. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at The Happy Hospitalist*