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Nonin Medical Reports Onyx II 9560 Wireless Pulse Oximeter Helps in Rescue of Chilean Miners

Nonin Medical, Inc., the inventor of the world's first fingertip and wireless-fingertip pulse oximeter, announced today that its Onyx® II 9560 wireless fingertip pulse oximeter was used in the effort to rescue 33 Chilean miners who were trapped in a Copiapo, Chile mine since August 5.

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The Onyx® II Model 9560 Wireless Pulse Oximeter is being used by physicians at the scene to capture the miners' blood oxygenation and heart rate data in real time during and after each miner's 20-minute, half-mile rescue-capsule ascent to the surface.

Placed on the miner's index finger, the Onyx II 9560 wirelessly transmits blood oxygen saturation and heart data via Bluetooth® technology to Zephyr Technology's BioHarness™ First Responder System. The BioHarness, a chest-worn monitoring device developed by Nonin Medical OEM partner Zephyr Technology, measures the trapped miners' heart rates, breathing rates and skin temperatures. The monitors use Bluetooth wireless technology to transmit the data to a monitor on the surface, enabling physicians to detect immediate signs of physiological stress.

"As the inventor of the world's first fingertip pulse oximeter, Nonin Medical is pleased to partner with Zephyr Technology to aid the miners during this historic rescue event," said Steve Bucholz, chief operations officer, Nonin Medical, Inc. "Our pulse oximeters are reliable in the toughest conditions, but the extreme conditions of the Chilean operation make accurately measuring the miners' pulse rates and blood oxygen levels particularly challenging. Nonin's proven accuracy in the widest range of patients and settings makes the Onyx II ideally suited to the task."

In addition to aiding physicians on the scene, Nonin Medical is working through its Chilean distributor, Air Liquide, to donate 33 Nonin Medical Go2 LED fingertip pulse oximeters for continued pulse oximetry monitoring after the miners arrive home.

"Nonin Medical is pleased to be able to aid the miners during their immediate and long-term recovery," said Bucholz. "No one in recorded history has survived trapped underground for as long as those 33 men have. When you've been exposed to extremely poor air quality, 2,300 feet underground, for 69 days, you don't just bounce back overnight."

Pulse oximeters indirectly monitor the oxygen saturation of a patient's blood (as opposed to measuring oxygen saturation directly through a blood sample) and changes in blood volume in the skin. Pulse oximeters are useful for assessing patients' oxygenation in settings where oxygenation can be unstable, including in intensive care, operating, recovery, emergency and hospital ward settings. Pulse oximetry helps clinicians determining the effectiveness of, or need for, supplemental oxygen. Prior to the invention of the fingertip pulse oximeter by Nonin Medical, clinicians had to rely on bulky hand-held pulse oximeters to capture oxygen saturation readings. Prior to the oximeter's invention, complicated blood tests needed to be performed.

Source: Nonin Medical, Inc.

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