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American Society of Anesthesiologists Issues New Practice Guidelines for the Perioperative Management of Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Masimo announces new Patient Safety Net System that together with Masimo SET's unmatched sensitivity and specificity will help hospitals comply with the ASA guidelines

Irvine, California, August 24, 2006 - The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) recently adopted practice guidelines for the perioperative management of patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) to reduce the risk of adverse outcomes in patients with OSA who receive sedation, analgesia or anesthesia.  OSA is a syndrome characterized by periodic, partial, or complete obstruction of the upper airway during sleep.  It is well known that even patients without a history of OSA can develop OSA during perioperative phases.  OSA patients are especially vulnerable during the postoperative period because protective arousal reflexes are diminished due to the effects of anesthesia and opioid analgesia.  The ASA guidelines recommend preoperative screening of all surgical patients for OSA followed by a postoperative protocol of continuous pulse oximetry monitoring until the patient is no longer at risk.

Masimo, the inventor and pioneer of Read-Through Motion and Low Perfusion Pulse Oximetry, has recently introduced the RadNet Patient Safety Net System to help clinicians monitor their patients continuously and remotely.  RadNet provides surveillance for up to 28 patients by either hardwired or wireless connectivity from point of care monitors to a base monitoring station.  RadNet is an easy to install, easy to use system that is scaleable based on a specific hospital's needs. 

The key to the success of the RadNet system is Masimo SET pulse oximetry technology, proven through more than 80 independent and objective published clinical studies to be the most reliable and accurate pulse oximeter during challenging conditions such as patient motion, low perfusion and bright lights, which can confuse other pulse oximetry technologies.  Masimo's patented technology has been proven to dramatically reduce false alarms and improve detection of true alarms, especially in the challenging conditions, such as those encountered in monitoring ambulatory patients in the general care areas.

Steve Moreau, CEO of San Antonio Hospital stated, "High quality patient care and cost savings go hand in hand.  When clinicians detect problems early, lives can be saved, patients will recover sooner and health care costs are lowered.  Rapid Response Teams have been created to react more quickly to adverse events, but their success is dependent upon reliable and continuous monitoring of patients at risk. Technology solutions such as Masimo SET and RadNet play a critically important role in providing an early warning system for the clinicians providing care at the bedside."

Joe E. Kiani, CEO and Chairman of Masimo stated, "We applaud the ASA for recognizing the need to better care for patients post operatively and we are proud that we have created the tools to help make these recommendations realizable.  Masimo SET has clearly been proven as the most reliable pulse oximeter in the world, especially in the presence of patient motion and low perfusion.  We developed Signal Extraction Technology to allow patients to be monitored reliably in the general floor.  In fact, since our founding in 1989, our mission has been Improving Patient Outcomes and Reducing Cost of Care by Taking Noninvasive Monitoring to New Sites and Applications.  We are delighted that our mission is consistent with the healthcare community's goals of reducing unnecessary morbidity and mortality."

Recent data suggests that the prevalence of OSA may be much greater than previously thought.  A recently published study performed at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis screened 1,898 surgical patients over four months and found that over 19% of those patients had OSA.

These guidelines add to a significant existing challenge that hospitals have been coping with to better care for recovering patients after being transferred out of the intensive care units (ICU) in order to reduce the incidence of unexpected adverse patients events, often referred to as "sentinel events".  This task is made difficult due to the fact that, in most cases, the ICUs are the only areas equipped to provide this level of postoperative care.  Not only is there a lack of monitoring outside of the ICUs, but there are also far fewer nurses per patient.  So, even if the hospital can put pulse oximeters on all of these patients, there may not be enough nurses to react to the alarms.  Making this challenge even more difficult is the fact that most of the existing pulse oximeters are prone to excessive false alarms and missed true events.  In a recently completed study that will be presented at the ASA's annual conference this October, the newest pulse oximeters from two of the largest manufacturers had false alarm rates of 17-28% and missed events incidence of 42-82%, while Masimo SET's false alarm rate and incidences of missed events was nearly an order of magnitude lower.

Along with RadNet, Masimo is introducing PPO+, a wireless, wearable Masimo SET pulse oximeter with optional ECG, which will allow patients that are ambulating to have their oxygen saturation, pulse rate and ECG continuously monitored via RadNet wirelessly.  There are currently a variety of point of care devices that are compatible with RadNet.  Masimo is planning to unveil new Masimo SET and Masimo Rainbow SET enabled monitors to further serve the growing needs of care providers, especially those in the general ward.

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.  Over 80 independent clinical studies have confirmed that Masimo SET technology allows clinicians to accurately monitor blood oxygen saturation in critical care situations.  In 2005 Masimo introduced Rainbow SET and with it, 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

Masimo, SET, Signal Extraction Technology and Improving Patient Outcomes and Reducing Cost of Care by Taking Noninvasive Monitoring to New Sites and Applications are registered trademarks of Masimo Corporation.  RadNet, Patient Safety Net  System and PPO+ are trademarks of Masimo Corporation.   Rainbow and Pulse CO-Oximetry are trademarks of Masimo Labs.

Contact: Tom McCall

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