A new technology shows nurses where your veins are

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This handheld infrared light device is about to make donating blood a whole lot easier.

 by FIONA MACDONALD,   30 Oct 2014

If you’ve ever given blood, you’ve likely experienced the discomfort of having a nurse struggle to find your vein. And if you’re anything like me, you’re probably used to someone jabbing at your arm for five minutes before giving up and moving to the other one because your veins are “difficult to find”.

But don’t worry, this device is about to make the process a whole lot less painful.

The technology works by beaming harmless near-infrared light at your arm. Our veins contain a lot of deoxygenated haemoglobin, and because this is absorbed by infrared light, it creates an image of exactly where your veins are under the skin.

Importantly, the device can be used anywhere. It’s already used widely in hospitals and pathology clinics around the world to make it easier for patients to have blood taken, but now it’s also going to help genorous citizens to donate blood.

The Australian Red Cross is the first blood bank service in the world to trial this technology, and has already started using it in its Sydney clinics.

On behalf of everyone out there with hard to find veins: thank you, science.

Find out more about how the technology works in the video below:

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