Vein Search (or a search in vain) David Robertson CNS in Harm

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Transcript Vein Search (or a search in vain) David Robertson CNS in Harm

Vein Search
(or a search in vain?)
David Robertson
Clinical Nurse Specialist in Harm Reduction
Camden and Islington Substance Misuse Services
What is a vein search?
Looking for
somewhere to inject
What is a vein search?
What else can we do with it?
What purpose does it serve?
How can we make the most of it?
What should it be?
Reduce injecting damage
• Assessment of recent and current injecting
• Advise on what to look for (“good veins”), where
(“suitable sites”) and How (technique and works)
• Educate on good practice/safer drug use/BBV
• Encourage reflection
• Teach the client how to do it themselves
Why do I need to change my injecting?
What am I doing wrong?
Why do veins collapse?
Why is injecting damaging?
How can I reduce the damage?
• Increased ability = Increased self esteem
• Most clients present when their veins have run
out and new access is limited if there is any at
• Harm Prevention
• Be proactive - use the intervention to reduce
current damage and prolong vein life
Injecting Risk Assessment,
Education and Behaviour
Modification Intervention
Client centred - about change not abstinence
Harm reduction
Practical - It works!
Improved faith in service/ Drugs worker
=improved engagement
• Change injecting and drug using behaviour
• Attendance and Engagement
• Think about future
Good Practice
All injecting carries risk - not injecting is best
Competence and Responsibility
Evidence based
Accepted practice
Limits to advice
Relative risks - Client responsibility
Ethical Considerations
• IS teaching someone to inject the same as
encouraging them?
• Are we prolonging someone’s injecting
career and so increasing the amount of
• Shouldn’t we be encouraging people to stop?
[email protected]