Improving Vascular Access and Care with Near Infrared (NIR) Technology

Recorded On: 10/21/2020

Commercial Support: AccuVein

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Peripheral venous access is an essential part of modern in-patient medical care that is poorly managed and has a high rate of failure.  Patients and clinicians are frustrated because they wish it could be done better.  Old fashioned concepts and inadequate attention to developing best practices has led to the creation of an epidemic of difficult vascular access patients.  Our knowledge and experience are growing and with the help of vein visualization technology, we are at a turning point to help reduce the number of venipuncture attempts and better preserve veins.  Near Infrared (NIR) technology is well suited to help us implement these best practices.  It provides a rapid means to assess a patient’s venous options, identifies potential venous targets, and helps optimize catheter position.  It has also been proven to reduce venipuncture attempts, improve first attempt success and prolong dwell times.  It thus helps improve efficiency and reduce overall costs both materially and nursing time.  NIR can also reduce the need for central venous access by providing more venous options, thus reducing the risk of CLABSI.  NIR is an incredibly important tool for our approach to modern venous access best practice.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the problems associated with our current approach to peripheral venous access and how it leads to pain, frustration and the creation of difficult vascular access (DVA) patients
  • Review best practice concepts of optimal site selection and reduced venipunctures to support vein preservation and improved vein health
  • Discuss how NIR technology supports peripheral access best practice in multiple ways and how it directly helps support prolonging dwell times, vein preservation and improve patient care


Gregory Schears, MD

Mayo Clinic

Dr. Gregory J. Schears, M.D. is a Professor of Anesthesiology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.  He is a pediatric intensivist and anesthesiologist by training and cares for both adult and pediatric patients in his practice. He has a long standing interest in reducing patient complications and improving our approach to vascular access and patient safety. Dr. Schears completed his pediatric residency at St. Louis Children's Hospital, his anesthesia residency, pediatric anesthesia fellowship and pediatric critical care fellowship at John's Hopkins hospital, and worked at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia/ Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania for 5 years until he was recruited to the Mayo Clinic in 2001 to head the ECMO service. There he serves as Consultant in Department of Anesthesiology at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota and is the physician liaison to the nurse led PICC team, former Medical Director of the ECMO Service for 16 years and Co-Director of the Congenital Heart Unit.  He has served on the editorial board for JAVA and on the AVA Board of Directors as Treasurer. He is also joining the AVA Patient Safety Foundation board this year.  He is very active with product development to help reduce complications and has given hundreds of presentations locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.

CRNI® RUs: This session has been approved for 1 CRNI® recertification unit and meets the non INS Meeting criteria.

Contact Hours: This session has been approved for 1 contact hour

Expiration date for receipt of contact hours: October 21, 2023

To receive contact hours for this educational activity, you are required to attend the entire educational activity and complete the evaluation.


The Infusion Nurses Society is approved as a provider of continuing nursing education by the California Board of Registered Nursing, provider #CEP14209. The certificate must be retained by the attendee for a period of 4 years.

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