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Near-infrared venous imaging may be more useful than ultrasound guidance for novices to obtain difficult peripheral venous access: A crossover simulation study.

Medicine (Baltimore) 2023 March 25
BACKGROUND: Difficult peripheral venous access, especially in obese people, is challenging for novices. We conducted a randomized cross-over study to examine whether near-infrared venous imaging or ultrasound guidance is more useful for novice operators to obtain difficult peripheral venous access.

METHODS: Medical students were recruited as participants. After receiving basic training using commercial simulators, participants were randomly assigned to obtain simulated venous access using a difficult venous access simulator with near-infrared venous imaging or ultrasound guidance in a randomized cross-over design. A difficult venous access simulator was newly developed with deep and narrow vessels to simulate an obese patient. The primary outcome measure of the study was the first-time success rate (%), and the secondary outcome measures included procedure time (seconds) and the number of 3 consecutive successful attempts, to represent proficiency with the procedure. Pearson chi-square test, the Wilcoxon signed-rank test, and generalized estimating equations were used for statistical analysis.

RESULTS: Forty-one medical students with no experience performing peripheral venous access were enrolled in this study. The rate of successful first attempts did not differ between the 2 groups (70% for near-infrared; 65% for ultrasound guidance; P = .64). The duration of the procedure for the first attempt was significantly shorter using near-infrared imaging (median: 14; interquartile range: 12-19) compared to ultrasound guidance (median 46; interquartile range: 26-52; P = .007). The number of attempts until 3 consecutive successes was not significantly different comparing the 2 approaches (near-infrared: 3 (3, 7.25), ultrasound guidance: 3 (3, 6.25), P = .63).

CONCLUSION: There was no difference in success rate of first-time attempts or acquiring proficiency for the 2 methods. However, duration of the first attempt was significantly shorter with near-infrared imaging than with ultrasound guidance. Near-infrared imaging may require less training than ultrasound guidance. Near-infrared venous imaging may be useful for novices to obtain difficult peripheral venous access in obese patients.

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