How about combining an IV needle with a Doppler ultrasound system, so those blind needle sticks are a little bit more precise? Escalon Vascular Access Inc. has done it:
If you can’t see or feel the vessel, the surest path to vascular access is through your ears. With PD ACCESS you can hear arterial or venous flow and direct the needle to first-stick access, saving time and money.
Doppler-guided PD ACCESS is ideal for all types of patients, from pediatrics to adults. Its portable size allows for quick and easy use in all parts of the hospital, from the CCU to the OR to the Cath Lab. It enables you to distinguish between veins and arteries, so you can avoid puncturing the wrong vessel while attempting to access the correct one.
PD ACCESS utilizes a hand-held monitor and a Doppler transducer located at the tip of the access needle. Sizes range from 18 gauge bare needles to 24 gauge ONC devices, to address a full range of applications.
Placing a piezoelectric crystal for ultrasound guidance into a needle tip and creating a working system is quite a task! Welcome to the 21st century, indeed.
Escalon Vascular Access Inc. even provides sound files of intravenous and intraarterial blood flows for your listening or learning pleasure. Enjoy!
(hat tip: Anesthesiology News)