In this op-ed published in MedTech Dive, Joe Smith, BD chief scientific officer, challenges the “accepted but unacceptable” status quo patients and clinicians face today with the two most frequent medical procedures, blood draws and IV insertion, while calling for meaningful change and innovation to elevate clinical practice and deliver a better care experience.
Excerpt from the op-ed below. Read the complete op-ed here.
A clinician preps a patient’s skin. They position the needle, pierce the patient’s skin and vein, and place and secure an intravenous (IV) catheter. In theory, this is a simple, possibly unremarkable procedure. However, my firsthand experience tells me how pivotal and emotional this early stage in the acute care journey can be – for both patients and their clinicians. For patients, it is often the defining moment that marks the transition to being an in-patient in a hospital and beginning their journey of recovery. For clinicians, it represents the establishment of a new and often critically important avenue for treatment. And for both, there is most often a sigh of relief when the process is over, as too often it is not so readily accomplished.
As a physician, and specifically an interventional cardiac electrophysiologist, I have my own experience with needles. I’ve never lost sight of how needles are diagnostic and therapeutic instruments to be used with great care and only when the potential benefit to the patient exceeds any potential harm. Since that harm can take many forms, including pain, bleeding and risk of infection, everyone strives to breach the skin as few times as possible.
That’s why I’m particularly passionate about the future of vascular access and the promise of reducing the number of “sticks” a patient will undergo during their hospital stay.
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