There’s no one in the world better at giving injections than a dentist, but ask one to draw a patient’s blood, and fear grips them like getting a tooth taken out. It is not that it is hard to draw blood, it is that dentists have never been trained to look for veins, let alone draw blood from one. This is one of the biggest obstacles when it comes to using products like platelet rich plasma (PRP), or leukocytic platelet rich fibrin (L-PRF). As bone grafting, and soft tissue grafting become more popular in general dentistry, dentists are reaching to new heights in technology and are being forced to do unfamilar techniques like drawing blood to extract product that increases the success of our procedures.
I want to show you a little device that I got off eBay that will cut the anxiety of drawing blood in half. It is very simple to use, and remarkably effective. It is called the Veinlite and you will love this thing! It was really surprising that when I showed my staff this thing they all suddenly felt they could draw blood, too!
This device is actually fun to use, and you can see all of the veins in your own arm, not mention your patient’s arm. It has 24 red and orange LED lights that shine about 2 cm deep into your tissue at an angle to illuminate the deoxygenated blood in the veins all over the arms, legs or where ever you want to look. Pass the Veinlite around the arm in any direction to pick up a vein of interest. First, orientate the device so the “horseshoe” shape is facing the fingers. Press the Veinlite over the located vein and pull on it to stretch the skin flat. Then push the Veinlite down against the skin to act like a tourniquet, and draw the blood out of the vein. Simple! Now all you need is enough guts to do it…
1. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2011 Feb 27. [Epub ahead of print] Visualizing Veins With Near-Infrared Light to Facilitate Blood Withdrawal in Children. Cuper NJ, Verdaasdonk RM, Roode RD, Vooght KM, Viergever MA, Kalkman CJ, Graaff JC. University Medical Center, Utrecht.
2. Neurosurgery. 2011 Mar;68(3):781-7. Evaluation of angiographically occult spinal dural arteriovenous fistulae with surgical microscope-integrated intraoperative near-infrared indocyanine green angiography: report of 3 cases. Killory BD, Nakaji P, Maughan PH, Wait SD, Spetzler RF. Division of Neurological Surgery, Barrow Neurological Institute, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, Phoenix, Arizona.