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Check Your Health: Poke-free blood draws

KUTV Check Your Health IV 091317.JPG
Check Your Health: Poke-free blood draws (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) If you hate needles, there’s good news. A new, painless way to draw blood is now providing hospital patients a better experience during their stay. Thanks to a new technology, inpatients can now get their blood drawn without using a needle.

“First it kind of blew my mind about just the logistics of it…how it actually works,” said Kelli Brown, the mother of patient, Jack.

The needle-free technology is called PIVO. It works by using a patient’s IV.

“You use this device to draw blood through the IV instead of poking the patient like you would with a lab draw,” explains Cassy Weeks, Children’s Surgical Nursing Director at Primary Children’s Hospital.

A phlebotomist threads this device through a patient’s IV until it reaches the vein. It then strengthens the vein and allows them to draw blood – without any pain.

“In my 38 years of nursing I have never seen a device like this that actually minimizes pain,” Weeks said.

“It’s easier for the phlebotomist and for the patient. We’re able to relate with the child and tell them what we’re doing and tell them that it won’t hurt them,” says Cody Johnson, Inpatient Phlebotomy Supervisor at Primary Children’s Hospital.

For Kelli Borwn and he son Jack, a hospital stay used to mean dozens of pokes.

“A lot of times these labs are drawn four times a day. If you’re in the hospital for a week, that’s almost 30 pokes,” says Brown.

Compare that to a hospital stay now, and most of the time Jack only needs an initial IV poke.

PIVO is currently available for kids (approx. ages 5+) as well as adults. Now that it’s been proven at Primary Children’s Hospital, this technology will soon be used across all 22 Intermountain Hospitals.


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