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Child cannulation: A global procedure

Venous access is the most common method of accessing the vein to introduce medication, sample blood (phlebotomy) and for ongoing procedures such as chemotherapy. It is a fundamental intravenous method used fundamentally where a needle is inserted into the vein and is imperative for saving lives, in particularly within A&E departments and for those needing immediate care.

Venous access is used worldwide, with 859 million cannula used per annum (24.9 million in the UK, 321.5 million across Europe and 350 million in America) and the issues that arise with cannulation are universal.

US television presenter Jimmy Kimmel recently opened up about his newborn son's heart condition (with a heartfelt photograph of his son attached to IV catheters). After being born with two holes in his heart, he required open heart surgery which was successful, but will need ongoing surgeries over the course of the next few months to close the remaining hole. His son required cannulations which were successful, allowing Kimmel's baby to receive the treatment he needed to continue with the life-saving open heart surgery.

Sana Hisam, a child from Kurdistan who suffered after her cannulation

However, cannulation is not always a successful procedure, and if it is not carried out safely and correctly, it can be life changing for the patient. An example of this is the case of a two and a half year old from Kurdistan, who was recently infected by the process due to ill practice carried out by her medical practitioners. As a result of this, her hand had begun to swell and she eventually required an amputation. Both the doctor and medical assistant were arrested immediately afterwards.

Within the NHS, 6 million children are admitted into hospital and with a 50% first time failed cannulation rate, the overall procedure of venous access can be daunting, traumatising and distressing for a young child. This issue has been addressed in the 'Journal of emergency nursing', who found that the success rate for 1st attempt cannulations within children was only 53%, furthermore, 67% for 2nd attempts, 91% for 4th attempts and only 33% for first time attempts in children.

So what does Olberon have to do with this?

As a medical innovation company enriched with medical awareness and expertise, Olberon are looking to combat issues that come with gaining access to the veins of children for medical procedures with the Vacuderm™ for kids. Interviews conducted by Olberon suggest practitioners would encourage the device to be used on children as the tourniquet has an incorporated dome to pump, helping to make the vein bigger, ultimately reducing the number of attempts at cannulation. The Vacuderm increases the visibility of a the vein (Children have significantly smaller veins than adults), making it easier and safer for the practitioner to insert the needle into the vein. Using child friendly interactive designs would make the process less daunting and traumatic, and the child could assist in pumping the dome, adding a dimension for the child to be more involved in assisting the procedure. With the development and growth of Olberon, the company hope to reach out beyond the UK for the Vacuderm to be used globally to help children and medical practitioners alike during cannulation procedures.

Above: Vacuderm for kids

Without cannulation,

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