STBTC Uses Sci-Fi-Worthy Technology To Help Young Donors

August 29, 2014

The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center (STBTC) will be one of the first blood banks to use the VeinViewer® Flex, a product of Christie Medical, to help make blood donations more comfortable for young donors.

“With some donors, it’s difficult to find small veins for donation,” said Brian Clark, director of Donor Services at STBTC. “This technology we’ve invested in will help our phlebotomists find the right vein to help minimize discomfort during donation.”

The VeinViewer® Flex is a small instrument that projects near-infrared light that is absorbed by blood and reflected by surrounding tissue. The image is projected digitally in real time directly onto the surface of the skin. While the tool is not new technology and is currently utilized in hospital settings, it is new to the blood banking industry.

STBTC will have a VeinViewer® Flex at all high school blood drives to help young blood donors have a more positive and comfortable donation experience.

“We want students to have a great experience donating blood for the first time so they continue to give and become lifelong blood donors,” Clark said. “We’ve trained our staff and tested the new tool at select drives over the summer, and we’ve received positive feedback.”

Donors must present identification. Anyone who is 16 years old weighing 120 pounds (with parental consent form), or at least 17 years old weighing 110 pounds and in good general health may donate blood.  All donors receive refreshments, a mini-physical and are encouraged to eat before and after donation. Learn more about blood donation at www.southtexasblood.org or call 800-292-5534.