If you are a human (if you're reading this article, you probably are), then at some point in your life, you'll probably have to give blood. It could be a blood donation meant to help the sick, or it might just be a sample that is being taken in order to do some necessary testing. Regardless of the reason, you'll probably have a slightly uncomfortable experience as the nurse struggles to locate your vein.
It's something that many people have been through.
The ordeal usually ends with the nurse stating that your veins are "really hard to find," and moving on to prodding your other arm. Fortunately, a new device could prevent this from ever happening again, making the process a lot easier on both the patient and the nurse.
Scientists recently developed a device that casts a harmless near-infrared light at your arm, making our veins visible. This technology works because our veins contain a lot of deoxygenated haemoglobin, which is absorbed by infrared light. This absorption allows us to see an image of exactly where your veins are under the skin.
The Australian Red Cross is the first blood bank services in the world to start testing this technology. It is already in use in clinics that are located in Sydney. Perhaps best of all, this device can be used anywhere.