The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

1999 OPEN FORUM Abstracts


Mark Rumby RRT. HealthOne Rose Medical Center, Denver, Colorado.

Background. The purpose of the study was to compare the useful life of Datex-Ohmeda adult OxyTip oximetry sensors (A-Tips) to that of Nellcor Puritan Bennett D-25 Oxisensor II sensors on adult patients undergoing long-term SpO2 monitoring.

Method. Patients selected to participate were adult candidates for continuous SpO2 monitoring of at least 72 hours. All participants were intensive care patients. For the comparison, both of the two sensors being studied were applied simultaneously to each patient on opposing extremities (i.e., Datex-Ohmeda A-Tip to right index finger, Nellcor Puritan-Bennett D-25 to left index finger). When reapplication of a sensor to a different digit was required, the other brand of sensor was also reapplied comparably. Sensors were examined on a regular basis for signs of wear and compromised adhesiveness. When a sensor could no longer be reapplied successfully, it was removed and its lifespan in hours recorded. Clinicians documented specific reasons for terminating use of the sensor. At that point, the opposing brand sensor continued in use alone on the patient until it became unusable, and its lifespan and reason for removal were also recorded.

Results. As of the date of abstract submission, a total of 4 Datex-Ohmeda A-Tip and Nellcor Puritan-Bennett D-25 sensors were tested. The average lifespan of the Datex-Ohmeda A-Tip proved to be 127.5 hours. The average lifespan of the Nellcor Puritan-Bennett D-25 sensor was 83.5 hours. The lifespan range of the Datex-Ohmeda A-Tip was from 46.25 hours (shortest) to 211.5 hours (longest). The lifespan range of the Nellcor Puritan-Bennett D-25 was from 46.25 hours (shortest) to 151.25 hours (longest). This study will be ongoing until at least 25 sensors of each brand have been tested.

Experience. The author and participating respiratory care clinicians are experienced and knowledgeable regarding the benefits and methods of monitoring SpO2 using pulse oximetry. All had prior familiarity with both Datex-Ohmeda and Nellcor Puritan-Bennett oximeters and sensors.

Conclusions. In the preliminary results of this evaluation, the Datex-Ohmeda A-Tip sensor proved to have an average life span approximately 1.5 times longer than that of the Nellcor Puritan-Bennett D-25 sensor. While full cost comparisons would need to take into account other factors, such as the negotiated price a health care organization is paying for all oximetry-related equipment and supplies, the study indicates that the Datex-Ohmeda A-Tip may be more cost-effective per patient than the Nellcor Puritan-Bennett D-25 sensor.


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