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Vein finder hits the mark for County’s hospital

Lisa Mowbray demonstrates the vein finder. – Shannon Coull photo

People with small veins know the pain when a nurse needs to draw blood or insert an intravenous (IV).

Now, difficult intravenous starts are becoming a thing of the past for patients at Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital, thanks to a new vein finder that helps staff locate a patient’s veins quickly and non-invasively.

A vein finder is a hand-held medical device that uses infrared light to locate a patient’s veins beneath the skin. Healthcare providers often use it to help them locate veins for IVs, injections, blood draws, and other treatments.

The Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation (PECMHF) needs to raise more than $690,000 for medical equipment by March 31. Of that, $9,889 was designated for a vein finder.

Tom McCaw, first vice-president of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 78 in Picton and Diane Denyes-Wenn, president of the Branch 78 Ladies Auxiliary, presented the foundation with a gift of $9,889 on Feb. 9. The funds were awarded through a grant from the Royal Canadian Legion Ontario Provincial Command Branches and Ladies Auxiliaries Charitable Foundation.

Pictured in front of PECMH with the vein finder from left: Briar Boyce, senior development officer with the PECMHF; Lisa Mowbray, patient services manager and site lead at PECMH; Diane Denyes-Wenn, president of Branch 78 Ladies Auxiliary; Ann Galvin, a director of the PECMHF board; Tom McCaw, first vice president and poppy chairperson with Branch 78; and Shannon Coull, executive director of the PECMH Foundation. – Jess Jacklin photo

“Patient IV insertions are a widespread procedure during a patient’s hospital care. The vein finder allows for the visualization of the location and quality of the vein, resulting in increased accuracy when starting an IV,” said Lisa Mowbray, patient services manager and site lead at PECMH. “The vein finder will assist with timelier IV insertions, more timely medication administration and ultimately, an improved patient experience.”

She adds that practitioners who are relatively new to phlebotomy will have more confidence and success with collecting blood from a vein utilizing a vein finder.

“This gives them a jump start in gaining experience. Having the vein finder light up the blood vessels visually will also make patients feel more comfortable, as they will be sure the practitioner won’t struggle to get a good stick.”

Vein finders are often used on patients with edema (swelling), rolling veins, the elderly, children and other individuals with veins that are hard to see.

Shannon Coull, executive director of the PECMH Foundation says the foundation is grateful.

“It’s vital for our community to continue to ensure our County hospital is equipped with the latest devices to keep our patients healthy. We are also proud to announce with this gift, Ontario Command’s cumulative giving total to our hospital over the past 18 years has surpassed $88,500.”

Support from the community has always been at the heart of the hospital, notes Barbara McConnell, chairperson of the foundation, which is responsible for funding all the medical equipment as there is no government money for this.

“Over the years, our four local Legion branches, Picton, Wellington, Consecon and Deseronto, have contributed to excellent care at PECMH. We are pleased to know their contributions, and this one from Provincial Command is helping ensure the best care for veterans but for everyone in Prince Edward County.”

The Legion provides financial assistance and support to veterans, including Canadian Armed Forces and RCMP, and their families in need,” said McCaw.

“We are thankful to everyone who supports the fundraising endeavours the Legions undertake. Because of you, we can help veterans living in this community and patients at the hospital have access to modern medical equipment.”

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