New Phlebotomy and IV insertion aid!


Hi all!

I am a final year Product Design student and have spent the last five months researching phlebotomy . For my thesis project I am designing a tool to reduce accidental needle stick injuries, patient related needle anxiety and human error. My dad has blood samples taken very regularly and, accompanying him often, I have noticed a possible gap for a product like this.:p The design will aid in locating the vein first externally, and then internally.

I have a few questions which I'd love to get some feedback on!:wink2:

1. Can anyone explain the requirement to "blanch" the vein before venipuncture?

2. Is the angle of insertion range (between 15-30 degrees) dependant on the patient, or will any angle in the range generally work well?

3. Is the arterial pulse evident from sight or is it neccessary to feel it?

4. Is it a regular occurance that venipuncture occurs at a valve by accident?

Any other points, ideas, thoughts etc. would be soooooooo appreciated! You are my target users so your opinions are what the design must be guided by!

Thank you nurses!!!

iluvivt, BSN, RN

2,773 Posts

Specializes in Infusion Nursing, Home Health Infusion. Has 32 years experience.

Lets see if I can remember your questions.

1. You generally want to engorge the vein prior to venipuncture by using a tourniquet. Sometimes i use a BP cuff and turn it upside and inflate it to slightly below the diastolic. A heat pack and gentle tapping will also help. I also have the patient hang their arm down to trap more blood in the vein.

2. No you can not always see the artery or rather is pulsations. you need to palpate for it to avoid it. arteries generally run deeper than veins. There are aberrant arteries that are close to the surface and you can see these pulsating. sometimes when someone is very thin you can also see the pulsation.

3. generally speaking you can hit a vein using a 15-30 degree angle,but everyone is a little different. I decide on the angle after assessing the vein and deciding what product I will use.

4. You want to avoid the valves,so as not to damage you should perform the venipuncture above them or below them. You can fell them if you engorge the vein and take the time to feel the vessel before you poke it.

Hope this helps


3 Posts

Thanks iluvivt!

That's definitely a help. I think it may be thinking cap and sketch pad time again!

I really wanted to get away from the nurse's dependance on touch, its quite inherent to my present design. However, if everyone believes that this is absolutely paramount....? I'd love to hear your opinions on this, they'll be a great help:bowingpur

Thank you!

Specializes in critical care: trauma/oncology/burns. Has 38 years experience.

Ditto everything that iluivt said!:up:

My question to you, Peaish, is how will your new device be different than using a sonosite? Or will it be a combo of that and your design?

Very interesting! Anything that will make the experience of having blood drawn a wee bit less "invasive" and painful I am all for it!

I must say, I hate starting IV's r/t the pain from the insertion. I know some Nurses will infiltrate the area with a wee bit of lidocaine but sometimes the person/patient will say that hurt every bit as much as just having the angio inserted.

Good luck to you!

Hey, keep us posted on how things are gong!



3 Posts

Thanks for your interest Athena55!

I'm not intending on utilising ultrasound at all. My primary aims, aside from aiding in a successful venipuncture and reducing patient anxiety, are to design something neat, hand-held, re-usable, affordable and very user friendly.

Basically, it will compliment bd vacutainers and needles. At the moment, the design includes the use of a needle and vacutainer housing, transillumination and a micro pressure sensor.

As for pain management, I would like to stay away from medicinal methods if possible. Pressure, massage prior to puncture, cool air jets ....not sure yet. The device hides the needle from the patients view too so hopefully that will help some patients nerves.

Changing the angle of the needle may not pose to much of a problem for the design but i'm still really stuck on the point of palpating the skin with your fingers. I have to find an alternative!

Is the only reason for this requirement to ensure the vein is not an artery? Hopefully, with my transillumination component, the valves will be quite visible.

When its a little closer to completion, maybe I can post some sketches or photorealistic renderings to get your feedback.

Keep the thoughts and views coming! This is really great!



83 Posts

For me it is critical to palpate a vein. Some of the biggest juiciest looking veins can be completely sclerosed. The only way to know how good a vein is going to be is to assess by palpation, the "bounce" tells you if the vein is free from scars or sclerosis, if the patients hydration status is affecting the vein. I would much rather feel the vein than see the vein. Both is great!!

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