If your child needs frequent needle sticks or is afraid of needles, the vascular access team (VAT) at Arkansas Children’s can ease your child’s pain and anxiety during required medical procedures.

In fact, 98 percent of patients at Arkansas Children's need some sort of intravenous device. The vascular access team is dedicated to ensuring your child's experience with needles is as painless and comfortable as possible. We care for children with all types of illness, from common cases of dehydration to chronic disorders like cystic fibrosis to complex conditions such as blood diseases and cancer.

Our team provides personalized service for your child. We work together with your child's doctors and nurses to choose the most appropriate vascular device for your child's specific condition.

The Vascular Access Team assist with many services throughout the hospital. Some of those include the following:

  • Blood draws
  • Central venous catheter dressing changes
  • Extended dwell catheters
  • Infiltration assessment (checking for accidental puncture of the venous wall)
  • Peripheral intravenous (IV) insertions

The Vascular Access Team works with all departments and specialties, including:

  • Emergency room
  • Inpatient units
  • Intensive care unit
  • Outpatient units
  • Pediatric clinical research unit
  • Specialty clinics

Our Vascular Access Team uses the most technologically advanced procedures to care for your child's specific condition. These cutting edge technologies include:

  • Buzzy Bee (a vibrating palm-sized device) to reduce pain
  • EMLA, LMX, and Synera patch for numbing
  • Nitrous Oxide administration
  • Painese spray to numb the needle insertion site
  • Transilluminator (vein lights) to locate veins
  • Ultrasound-guided needle insertion

At Arkansas Children's we put your child first. This allows our vascular access team to deliver a positive experience for your child that avoids fear and anxiety related to needles.

The registered nurses that make up the Vascular Access Team are highly trained and continue to research new ways to provide pain-free care for children. Current research includes the study of infusion of fluids using access under the skin to hydrate dehydrated patients. The vascular access team holds many certifications and memberships, such as:

  • Arkansas Vascular Access Network (ARVAN)
  • Association for Pediatric Hematology Oncology Nurses (APHON)
  • Association for Vascular Access (AVA)
  • Certified Pediatric Nurses (CPN)
  • Certified Registered Nurse in Infusion (CRNI®)
  • Infusion Nurses Society (INS)
  • Vascular Access Certification Corp. (VA-BC™)

The Vascular Access Team encourages parents to advocate for their child and to ask about pain management options during vascular access procedures. Parents can also ask for the hospital's policy on needle sticks.

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