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Value Of Centralized Pulse Oximetry Monitoring On General Care Floor Is Highlighted In 3 ASA Poster Sessions; Researchers from Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian Stress Importance of Identifying Patients at Risk for Hypoxemia.

PLEASANTON, Calif. -- Nellcor, part of Tyco Healthcare, today announced that three poster sessions presented at the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) Conference in Orlando, FL, October 13 - 15, 2002, demonstrate the value of using a central pulse oximetry monitoring system on the General Care Floor to identify patients at risk for hypoxemia.

The poster sessions are based on a study conducted by J. Paul Curry, MD, and Cheryl M. Hanna, RN, Department of Anesthesiology, Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian, Newport Beach, CA. This study examined the incidence of hypoxemia for midline abdominal surgery patients who received neuraxial or PCA (patient-controlled) narcotic analgesia during the postoperative period on the General Care Floor.

The use of PCA narcotic analgesia is perceived to pose less risk of hypoxemia when compared with neuraxial narcotic analgesia in postoperative patients. However, these researchers found that data derived from central pulse oximetry monitoring systems suggests that patients receiving either type of analgesic treatment following midline abdominal surgery are at significant risk for hypoxemia.

The researchers conducted their study using central pulse oximetry monitoring systems, including the Nellcor(R) Oxinet(R) II Central Station Network. The Oxinet II system enables continuous remote monitoring via radio telemetry of up to 30 bedside pulse oximeters through a central monitoring station. This gives caregivers access to bedside information, including any alarms, for multiple patients simultaneously. The Oxinet II system also accommodates a hardwire hookup that monitors up to 16 beds for facilities not able to use a radio link.

"Based on our research, pulse oximetry systems with central monitoring capabilities, such as the Nellcor Oxinet II Central Station Network, are the ideal tools for early identification of patients at risk for adverse events on the general care floor," said Curry. "The incidence of postoperative hypoxemia is extraordinarily high in major abdominal surgery patients, but it's not easy to predict which patients will experience a hypoxemic event. Therefore, in my opinion, the patients who will benefit most from this technology are those at risk for preexisting oxygen supply-demand impairment, like that found in patients with coronary heart disease."

Using central pulse oximetry monitoring, the researchers found that the true incidence and severity of postoperative hypoxemia (SpO 2 <90%) was extremely high in these abdominal surgery patients treated with either neuraxial or PCA narcotic analgesia; no statistically significant differences were found between the two. The hypoxemic episodes tracked by the central pulse oximetry systems exceeded those documented on patient charts by more than 100-fold. Additionally, this high incidence of hypoxemia occurred independent of common clinical characteristics that may be assumed to be associated with its risk, making proper prioritization of patients for monitoring unpredictable and difficult. Indeed, the ASA Physical Status (PS) stratification system was not shown to be significantly correlated with hypoxemia incidence in this study.

Based on these findings researchers concluded that major abdominal surgery patients receiving either neuraxial or PCA narcotic analgesia require a higher level of respiratory monitoring.

According to Curry, "The consequences of hypoxemic events in patients with heart disease can be life threatening. Sixty-five million Americans suffer from cardiovascular disease. Of the 30 million noncardiac surgeries performed each year in the U.S., 1.5 million will result in postoperative cardiac adverse events linked to oxygen supply-demand impairment-at a cost of $20 billion per year. Central pulse oximetry monitoring can provide us with invaluable early warning that can help prevent serious permanent injury to a vast number of patients."

"Nellcor has long recognized the risk of hypoxemia on the General Care Floor," said Dan Roth, Director of Marketing, Nellcor Oximetry. "That is why Nellcor developed both the Oxinet II Central Station Network and the Intouch(TM) Remote Oximetry Notification System. These systems provide secondary alarms and make continuous pulse oximetry monitoring more viable on the General Care Floor, where nurse-to-patient ratios are lower."

About Nellcor

Nellcor is dedicated to developing innovative, clinically relevant medical products with an emphasis on noninvasive patient safety monitoring and respiratory care. A part of Tyco Healthcare, Nellcor is the world's foremost supplier of pulse oximetry, fetal pulse oximetry and airway management products. The company also offers a wide range of products for measuring and regulating patient body temperature. Known for the highest standards of quality and reliability, Nellcor products contribute to patient care in every type of healthcare setting. Nellcor serves its customers with an exceptional level of product performance and support, technical service and clinical education resources. For more information, visit

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CONTACT: Kristin Garvin for Nellcor, +1-925-463-4353,; or Kara Nadeau for Mullen, +1-978-468-8944,

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 18, 2002
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