Obtaining intravenous (IV) access in children under the age of 2 years is difficult,
especially in the emergency department (ED) where the children can be frightened, dehydrated
and ill. Often it requires multiple needle sticks and nurses to place an IV in a difficult
child. In our ED the recently acquired an Accuvein AV400 device. This infrared light, like a
barcode scanner, makes the veins on a child appear like roads on a map. This ideally shows
the nurse where to place and direct the needle. This device is approved by the FDA to work
with children and has not been shown to have any harmful effects. However, there are no
studies showing whether this device helps in the difficult less than 2 year olds seen in the
This study will be to directly compare placing an IV in a child under 2 years of age with
the AV400 versus not using the device. A physician, medical student, or nurse practitioner
who has been trained on how to observe nurses place IVs will enroll children who require an
IV for their ED clinical care (as determined by their ED doctors). This person will consent
the parents, ask the parents questions regarding the child's past medical history, and have
the nurse look at the veins of the child ahead of the IV access attempt to rate the level of
difficulty expected (easy, moderate, difficult). Whether the child has the IV attempt
performed with or without the AV400 will be computer randomized. The nurse will attempt to
place the IV, and the study staff will observe and record the number of attempts, size of
the IV catheter, and location of the IV. If 2 attempts are failed, the patient will "cross
over" to the other condition, that is if AV400 was being used then it will not be used, and
if AV400 was not being used then it will be used. If there are 4 failed attempts at IV
placement, then the child will be treated as per our department's difficult IV access
protocol, which is applied to all children with difficult IV access regardless of
participation in the study. After the IV placement, both the parents and the nurse will be
asked several questions regarding satisfaction with use of the AV400.
No patient identifiers will be collected.
The investigators will be recruiting 260 children to determine if using the AV400 device
improves the first time needle stick success from 40% to 60%.
Nursing approval for the study was obtained prior to the study.
The investigators hypothesize that the use of the Accuvein AV400 (AV400) with intravenous
access will improve the first attempt success rate in intravenous (IV) starts for patients
ages 0-24 months of age by 20% as compared to the standard technique.
Study Recruitment and protocol
- Potential subjects will be patients age 0-24 months recruited from the pediatric
emergency department at Harbor-UCLA. The patients will be screened for meeting criteria
of age 0-24 months, requiring IV access, not requiring emergent resuscitative access,
and not being a ward of the state.
- Nurses who work in the pediatric emergency department and who obtain IV access in
children will be solicited by members of the research team to participate in the study.
All nurses who are trained to use the device will be able to participate as operators
in the study.
- The patient will be enrolled as a subject and the data collection form will be filled
out by a trained observer. The data collection form contains: trained observer level of
training; blinded nursing number; randomization number; patient gender, age in months,
weight, height, Fitzpatrick skin color, dehydration status, mental status, gestational
age, chronic medical conditions, and hospitalizations in last two years; nurse's
assessment of vein palpability, visibility, and subjective difficulty; nurse's
pediatric ED experience and overall experience in years; access tool and whether
crossover was utilized; IV gauge, IV access site, number of persons needed to assist,
and whether access was successful. All trained observers will have undergone training
to ensure reliability between observers. Once a patient has been identified as a
potential subject by the trained observer and consent has been obtained, a blinded
randomized manila envelope will be chosen. The data collection form will be completed
by the trained observer and then the nurse will attempt first IV attempt per the arm of
the study (standard versus with AV400 assistance). The patient will receive two
attempts using the assigned randomized method. If 2 failed attempts, the nurse will
cross arms of the study and use the other IV access method. If this fails, the standard
difficult IV access pathway used by the pediatric ED will be started. Currently this
pathway is started after 4 failed IV attempts. Therefore, there is no additional risk
to the subject in the study. After the IV access has been successful or the difficult
IV access pathway has begun, the trained observer will then ask the parent and nurse a
series of questions based on a Likert scale to assess satisfaction and whether the
nurse felt the AV400 helped find veins, distracted her/him from usual technique, and/or
saved time. No identifying data will be collected on the nurse or subject. Trained
observers will not be ordering any IV placements, labs or medications for subjects.
Potential subjects will have had orders placed for IV access prior to their selection
- Any pediatric emergency department patient age 0-24 months who requires intravenous
access. Patients requiring emergent resuscitation will not be included.
- Treatment will not be delayed to consent the patient's parent. If consent cannot be
obtained by the study team in a timely manner, the patient will not be eligible to be
included in the study.
- Subjects who are in foster care or in the care of the state.