Improved filtering of pulse oximeter monitoring alarms in the neonatal ICU: Bedside significance

Academic Article


  • BACKGROUND: The OxiMax N-600x containing SatSeconds alarm management software was designed to assist clinicians in discriminating nuisance alarms from those that are clinically relevant. Instead of sounding an alarm the moment the oxygen saturation reading violates the upper or lower limit settings, a magnitude and duration of tolerance can be set. The primary objective was to study the proportion of nuisance alarms relative to the proportion of clinically relevant alarms being filtered under 4 different SatSeconds alarm settings (ie, 10, 25, 50, and 100) in the neonatal intensive care environment. METHODS: This is an observational prospective study of 50 infants cared for in 3 large neonatal ICUs. Infants were monitored for 4 continuous h each by a study observer with the study monitor, in addition to standard multiparameter monitors. The performance of the SatSeconds alarm was compared with nursing intervention. RESULTS: The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (95% CI) for SatSeconds alarm settings when compared with nursing intervention were as follows: 0.61 (0.57– 0.66) when the SatSeconds alarm setting was off, 0.63 (0.59–0.68) for the 10 SatSeconds alarm setting, 0.64 (0.59–0.69) for the 25 SatSeconds alarm setting, 0.64 (0.59–0.69) for the 50 SatSeconds alarm setting, and 0.63 (0.58– 0.68) for the 100 SatSeconds alarm setting, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: The SatSeconds feature of the OxiMax N-600x pulse oximeter reduced some nuisance alarms; however, its specificity to nurse-identified desaturation events does not significantly improve with lengthening SatSeconds alarm settings.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Stefanescu BM; Michael O’Shea T; Haury F; Carlo WA; Slaughter JC
  • Start Page

  • 85
  • End Page

  • 89
  • Volume

  • 61
  • Issue

  • 1