Published Wed, 2011-03-02 11:59; updated 2 years ago.

A new, potentially lifesaving piece of equipment has been introduced at Sandwell Hospital with the added benefit of also helping to ease the discomfort of patients.

The Accuvein ‘vein finder’ was obtained after A&E sister Natasha Whiston-Grice wrote to the West Bromwich hospital’s League of Friends to ask for help to fund the purchase of the machine.

The charity agreed to donate the full £3,500 needed to purchase the piece of kit, which enables clinical staff to find veins more easily and quickly in patients.

It has proven to be an extremely valuable addition to the emergency department and is already being used around six times a day.

Sister Whiston-Grice said: "It makes the experience better for patients and it’s very beneficial in a critical situation because it speeds up the process of giving emergency drugs and pain relief.

"The gadget works by shining an infra-red light onto the skin and highlighting the haemoglobin in the blood. This makes it easier for a clinician to identify a suitable vein for injection and minimises discomfort for patients."

She added: "It can be potentially lifesaving, so a big thank you to the League of Friends."