Vein Illumination Devices in Long-Term and Acute Care Settings: A Review of Clinical Effectiveness, Cost-Effectiveness and Guidelines


Project Line:
Health Technology Review
Project Sub Line:
Summary with Critical Appraisal
Project Number:


  1. What is the clinical effectiveness of vein illumination devices for vascular access procedures for adult patients in an acute care and/or long-term care settings?
  2. What is the cost-effectiveness of vein illumination devices for vascular access in adult patients in acute care and/or long-term settings?
  3. What are the evidence-based guidelines for use of vascular access imaging devices for adult patients in acute care and/or long term care settings?

Key Message

This report identified limited quality evidence to evaluate the clinical efficacy of vein illumination devices for adult patients in acute or long-term care. Evidence from one randomized controlled pilot trial with significant methodological limitations found no difference in outcomes of time and attempts required for vascular access using a vein illumination device as compared to a standard vascular access protocol in a population of elderly acute care patients. This study did identify a significantly lower frequency of hematoma complications as well as less anxiety and depression in the vein illumination device treatment group at a time point following venous access. Further high-quality research is required to make definitive conclusions regarding the clinical efficacy and safety of vein illumination devices in this population. No relevant cost-effective evidence or evidence-based guidelines were identified.