Medical Blogs

April 16, 2007

Masimo Rainbow SET Pulse CO-Oximetry Technology Shown Effective And Efficient In Detecting Carbon Monoxide Poisoning In Multiple Clinical Settings

Masimo, the inventor of Pulse CO-Oximetry and Read-Through Motion and Low Perfusion pulse oximetry, reported that two new independent studies and one case report were presented last week at the 2006 American Association of Respiratory Care (AARC) Congress in Las Vegas, each highlighting the significant clinical benefits to be gained by noninvasively screening patients for carbon monoxide poisoning using the "rapid," "inexpensive" and "reliable" Masimo Rainbow SET Pulse CO-Oximetry technology.

In a study led by Dr. Robert Partridge and Dr. Gregory Jay of Rhode Island Hospital at Brown University Medical School, a team of researchers performed a study to assess baseline carbon monoxide (CO) levels of nearly 5,000 patients presenting to the emergency room. To accomplish this, all pulse oximeters in the emergency department (ED) were replaced with Masimo Rainbow SET Pulse CO-Oximeters and the ED staff began assessing baseline carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) levels of all adult patients as part of the standard triage process. In addition to confirming suspected cases of CO toxicity (COT) from smoke inhalation, there were nine unsuspected cases of COT discovered, in just three months, in patients who presented with non-specific symptoms or unrelated complaints. Toxic COHb levels ranged from 16-33% and were confirmed with an invasive laboratory blood test. If this rate were indicative of all US hospitals, it would equate to as many as 50,000 cases of unsuspected CO toxicity annually.

The study concluded that the use of Masimo Rainbow SET as a noninvasive test for COT can effectively and efficiently be performed at ED triage, and that "unsuspected COT may be identified using noninvasive COHb screening and the prevalence of COT may be higher than previously recognized."

The team from Brown University also presented a case report of a previously healthy 52-year old non-smoking female who was brought to the ED complaining of nausea, headache, dizziness, and feeling cold. The patient had no history of carbon monoxide exposure. The Masimo Rainbow SET device recorded an SpCO level of 33%, which was later confirmed with an invasive laboratory measurement. After interviewing the woman, clinicians learned that her utilities had been shut off and she was running a gas-powered generator in her basement.

In the report, researchers said that since early CO toxicity shares symptoms with other more common illnesses, "physicians must maintain a high index of suspicion to avoid incorrect diagnosis, management and disposition. Unrecognized CO poisoned patients returned to the site of exposure may develop more serious CO toxicity." They added that the noninvasive testing provided by Masimo Rainbow SET technology "is a rapid, inexpensive method for screening large numbers of patients for CO toxicity and identifying unsuspected cases that might otherwise be missed."

Finally, a group of researchers at the Erlanger Health System in Chattanooga, TN used the Masimo Rainbow SET technology to assess CO levels on 136 patients who presented to the outpatient pulmonary lab for arterial blood gas (ABG) draws to evaluate patient's smoking history as well as 21 patients who presented with burns and inhalation injuries in the ED who also received ABGs. As a result of these tests, the researchers concluded that the Masimo Rainbow SET Pulse CO-Oximeter "performed well in both the pulmonary and the Emergency Department environments, with an extremely small bias compared to CO-oximetry measured COHb." They added that based on their study, the technology was "quite reliable at detecting elevated CO levels in patients presenting to the pulmonary lab or emergency department."

About Masimo

Masimo develops innovative monitoring technologies that significantly improve patient care -- helping solve "unsolvable" problems. In 1995, the company debuted Read-Through Motion and Low Perfusion pulse oximetry, known as SET, and with it virtually eliminated false alarms and increased pulse oximetry's ability to detect life-threatening events. More than 100 independent clinical studies have confirmed that Masimo SET technology allows clinicians to accurately monitor blood oxygen saturation in critical care situations -- establishing the technology as the "gold standard" pulse oximetry and substantially contributing to improved patient outcomes. In 2005 Masimo introduced Masimo Rainbow SET Pulse CO-Oximetry, which, for the first time, noninvasively monitors the level of carbon monoxide and methemoglobin in the blood, allowing early detection and treatment of potentially life-threatening conditions. Masimo, founded in 1989, has the mission of "Improving Patient Outcome and Reducing Cost of Care by Taking Noninvasive Monitoring to New Sites and Applications." Additional information about Masimo and its products may be found at

Evaluation of a New Pulse CO-Oximeter: Noninvasive Measurement of Carboxyhemoglobin in the Outpatient Pulmonary Lab and Emergency Departments. Layne T, Snyder C, Brooks D, Enjeti. Pulmonary Physiology Department, Erlanger Health System, Chattanooga, TN.

Non-Invasive Carboxyhemoglobin Monitoring: Screening Emergency Department Patients for Carbon Monoxide Exposure. Partridge R, Chee KJ, Suner S, Sucov A, Jay G. Department of Emergency Medicine, Rhode Island Hospital, Brown Medical School, Providence, RI.

Unsuspected Carbon Monoxide Toxicity Detected by Non-Invasive Monitoring: A Case Report. Partridge R, Chee KJ, Suner S, Sucov A, Jay GD. Department of Emergency Medicine, Rhode Island Hospital, Brown Medical School, Providence, RI.

Masimo, SET, Signal Extraction Technology, Radical, Radical-7, Rad57, APOD, and Improving and Reducing Cost of Care by Taking Noninvasive Monitoring to New Sites and Applications are registered trademarks of Masimo Corp. Rainbow, SpCO, SpMet and Pulse CO-Oximeter are trademarks of Masimo Corp.

Masimo Corporation

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