Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Pulse Oximeters - Made in the USA

Turner Medical sells the only finger pulse oximeters still made in the USA.  Nonin and Smiths BCI both manufacture their fingertip oximeters in Minnesota. 

Nonin invented the first ever finger pulse oximeter.  The model was the Nonin 9500.  The 9500 "Onyx" was the standard for portable oximetry.  The 9500 sold for $495 and over a million were manufactured.

Today there are hundreds of different finger oximeters, but the vast majority are designed and manufactured in China.  The price of finger oximeters have significantly dropped in recent years but so has the quality.

Millions of people in the United States require an oximeter to provide oxygen saturation and heart rate information.  The problem is that many of the oximeters on the market are not accurate.  Nonin tested their oximeter against the Chinese models and the results are troubling.

The following is a video testing oximeters from ChoiceMMedical and Contec.  Nonin used a tabletop oximeter from Nellcor and their military finger oximeter (Nonin 9550) for comparison.

The results speak for themselves. 

Turner Medical has created an informational page on why we do not sell finger oximeters made and designed in China.

Nonin has also created a guide to help inform customers on what to look for when selecting an oximeter.

If accuracy and durability is important to you and/or your patients we highly recommend oximeters made in the USA.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ear Pulse Oximeter - For Poor Circulation

Pulse oximeters are typically placed on the finger to obtain an oxygen saturation (SpO2 %) reading.  You can also get a reading from the toe and the forehead.   Unfortunately there are many people who have extremely poor blood circulation.  Even the best oximeters on the market can't get readings off of the finger and/or toe if the blood circulation is poor enough. 

The earlobe is an excellent alternative location to obtain an oxygen saturation reading.  The head is rich in blood and the earlobe has enough surface area with pulsating capillary beds to use an ear clip sensor.

Turner Medical sells a variety of ear clip sensors from Nonin, Smiths-BCI and GE Healthcare.  Ear clip sensors require a handheld or tabletop pulse oximeter.  All of the handheld and tabletop oximeters we sell come with a finger sensor but we can swap out the finger sensor for an ear sensor.
We have configured our best selling handheld, the Nonin 8500 with an 8000Q2 ear clip sensor for just $325. 
Nonin has also created a video on how to properly use the ear clip sensor: