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Needle-free Blood Collection Device Raising Eyebrows

by Dennis Ernst • May 09, 2017

Shutterstock_28191238Pop quiz: what method of drawing blood causes more rejected samples than any other? Answer: line draws.

Enter PivoTM, a new product raising eyebrows in the vascular access and laboratory industry that reduces the potential for rejected samples drawn from vascular-access devices (VADs). Velano Vascular, the San Francisco company developing the device, says Pivo gives healthcare professionals a better alternative to conventional line draws while reducing the stress and anxiety for patients, their caregivers, and loved ones. 

The device attaches to an existing line through its luer connection. To the other end is attached the tube holder or syringe, and the blood withdrawn just like for any line draw, except for the hemolysis VADs are notorious for creating. The company touts the advantages of using Pivo as fewer venipunctures, more satisfied patients, higher quality samples, and more rest for patients who don't have to be awakened in the early morning for a venipuncture. They also point to the potential for fewer accidental needlestick rates since the device prevents the necessity for needles on patients who have an existing line.

According to an article reposted on, Pivo consists of a narrower and sturdier length of tubing, which is inserted into the existing VAD and extended further into the vein and past the tip of the indwelling catheter where hemolysis typically occurs. The nurse then withdraws as much blood as is needed, and withdraws and discards the device. The VAD retains its primary purpose, which is to continue infusing fluids.

Although the company's web site makes no claim Pivo reduces hemolysis or prevents venipunctures, clearly that is the underlying message. According to an article in VentureBeat, Velano Vascular's CEO says Pivo "turns an existing IV into a two-way conduit for drawing high quality blood samples." 

Last year, Fortune magazine published an article on Pivo describing Velono Vascular's president's motivation in developing the device. Pitou Devgon, M.D., an internal medicine physician, was confronted by a patient who insisted on knowing why she had to be stuck so many times when her blood could have been drawn through her IV. Her complaints stuck with him so to speak, and five years ago he came up with the answer: bypass the red-cell damaging cannula with friendlier tubing.

The device has complete FDA approval, and is being used in several U.S. hospitals and healthcare systems including Intermountain Healthcare, University Hospitals of Cleveland, Sutter Health, Children’s National Health System, Griffin Hospital, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

Since Pivo only benefits patients with existing lines, venipunctures will still be necessary in healthcare. But for those with difficult-to-access veins and needle phobia who are receiving IV fluids, Pivo seems poised to make hospitalization a little less traumatic. 


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