Lufkin volunteers donate machine to save East Texans' veins

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - By Holley Nees - email

LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - Verna Hayter has small veins and knows what it's like to be stuck multiple times.

"Usually when I go to get blood work done it's a tough procedure because they're patting and they're pulling and they're tying," Verna Hayter said. "Now, they may have to stick me two or three times, a vein may blow. I feel like a porcupine when I go home."

But when she was admitted into the hospital this time, things were different.

"It was like going to the grocery store or something you know, just scanning your items or something," Hayter said. "It was just pretty amazing."

"They were able to go in and do the stick and it didn't take three or four times," Hayter said.

That's thanks to the volunteers at Memorial Health System of East Texas.

"One of the nursing directors came to us and asked us if we had a little extra money," said volunteer Don Newland.

And by a little extra, they meant about $16,000 to buy vein viewer vision. The device creates a visual roadmap of a patient's vessels using infrared light.

"It just pulls the veins out and makes it work that much easier for the nurses and the doctors," Newland said.

"It was really cool because you can actually make it invert where you can see the veins or you can make it invert where it's not showing the veins at all," nurse Brittany Deen said.

Newland says aside from helping the patient, it's also more cost-efficient because every stick costs the hospital time and money.

"It's really frustrating because if you don't get it the first time then you're introducing another source of infection for the patient, you have to waste that cath line," Deen said.

Hayter says she'll be requesting this machine every time.

"To know that there is something out there that is going to make it easier for me, it's just a relief," Hayter said.

The device is used throughout Memorial Hospital in Lufkin.

Medical professionals say the technology has helped them increase the success rate of their needlesticks.

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