New device will help high school blood drives be more comfortable

Submitted by Guest (not verified) on August 28, 2014 - 2:31pm

The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center (STBTC) will be one of the first blood banks to use the VeinViewer Flex, a product of Christie Medical, to help make blood donations more comfortable for young donors.

“With some donors, it’s difficult to find small veins for donation,” said Brian Clark, director of Donor Services at STBTC. “This technology we’ve invested in will help our phlebotomists find the right vein to help minimize discomfort during donation.”

The VeinViewer Flex is a small instrument that projects near-infrared light that is absorbed by blood and reflected by surrounding tissue. The image is projected digitally in real time directly onto the surface of the skin. While the tool is not new technology and is currently used in hospital settings, it is new to the blood banking industry.

STBTC will have a VeinViewer Flex at all high school blood drives to help young blood donors have a more positive and comfortable donation experience.

Northside ISD’s Health Careers High School will be the first school in the San Antonio-area where the technology will be used. The school's blood drive is open to students, but not open to the general public.

“We want students to have a great experience donating blood for the first time so they continue to give and become lifelong blood donors,” Clark said. “We’ve trained our staff and tested the new tool at select drives over the summer, and we’ve received positive feedback.”

Learn more about blood donation at www.southtexasblood.org or call 800-292-5534.