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Nonin Medical's Onyx® II 9560 Wireless Pulse Oximeter Aids Chilean Miner Rescue: Company to Also Donate in-Home Monitoring Equipment for Miners' Post-event Care
Date:10/13/2010

MINNEAPOLIS, Oct. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- 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.

About Nonin Medical, Inc. - www.nonin.com

Nonin Medical, Inc. is a privately owned company specializing in the design and manufacturing of noninvasive physiological monitoring solutions. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., USA, with an additional sales, distribution and service center in Hudiksvall, Sweden, Nonin distributes its products to health professionals in more than 125 countries and has over 100 OEM partners worldwide. With more than 20 years of industry-leading capabilities in signal processing and sensor design expertise, Nonin's innovative noninvasive physiological technologies enable clinicians to accurately monitor a patient's true condition in the most challenging environments.

About Zephyr Technology - www.zephyr-technology.com

Based in Annapolis, Md., Zephyr Technology is a global leader in real-time physiological and biomechanical monitoring or "Physical Status Monitoring" (PSM) solutions for Defense, First Responder, Training and the Academic Research markets. Zephyr Technology leverages a world class team of engineers, scientists, physiologists and business experts.

Founded in 2003, Zephyr Technology has been a pioneer in the use of PSM in training and high stress operational environments. The company's ongoing collaboration with fire departments, NASA Ames Research Centre, National Guard Civil Support Teams, and multiple US Special Forces has been invaluable in the development and validation of Zephyr's technology and its application in the most extreme operating environments.


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SOURCE Nonin Medical, Inc.
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