Use of night vision goggles and low-level light source in obtaining intravenous access in tactical conditions of darkness

R. B. Schwartz, B. M. Charity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


Objective: The tactical environment of the nighttime battlefield precludes the use of white light to perform medical procedures. This study sought differences between two alternatives to white light used to facilitate intravenous access. A comparison was made between night vision goggles (NVG) and a low level light source (Fingerlite). Methods: Fifty-eight volunteers were paired. Each member of the pair attempted intravenous access on his or her partner in darkness using both techniques. One attempt per method was allowed. Success was confirmed by the free flow of blood from the catheter. Results: Of the 58 attempts using NVG, 32 were successful and 26 failed. In the Fingerlite group, there were 46 successful attempts and 12 failures. These differences reached statistical significance (p < 0.02). Conclusion: This study suggests that in conditions requiring darkness, a Fingerlite offers a clinical advantage over NVG in obtaining intravenous access.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)982-983
Number of pages2
JournalMilitary medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 26 2001


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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