Local Community News


Helena Baker demonstrates the vein-finder on an arm of Friends volunteer Lyn Govett

An item of equipment that quite literally sheds light on those often elusive veins has been bought for the Community Learning Disability Team by the Friends of St Mary’s Hospital.

Called the Accuvein AV400 vein mapper, the small and portable equipment finds veins without undue hassle and trauma to the patient, by just holding the equipment some 7 inches above the skin.

Community Learning Disability Nurse, Helena Baker, explains that this is especially important when finding it hard to assess healthcare through fear and anxiety, or sensory overload:

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“We support a large number of patients with autism who can find medical facilities incredible stressful. Due to communication difficulties, this can make it extremely difficult to ascertain the cause of any illness through blood tests. Getting blood on the first attempt is crucial, particularly with patients who have difficult vein access”.

The vein finder, which cost £3,810, is being used several times a month with further use coming when more colleagues undergo the required training.

Helena adds:

“We take it into patients’ homes and care homes—dealing with people who cannot get into the hospital’s pathology lab. It is brilliant and we guard it with our lives.

“We are very grateful to the Friends.”

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