XHALE ASSURANCE® | A Philips Company
Nasal Alar SpO2 Sensor FAQ
The nose gets cold quickly. How can this site get better signal than a finger?
The tip of the nose may get cold quickly, but the area where the Nasal Alar SpO2 Sensor is applied is at the side of the nares, close to the cheek. This area maintains excellent perfusion as it is supplied by the last branch of the external and the first branch of the internal carotid arteries – the internal carotid is the same vessel that supplies blood to the brain. This region of the nose is resistant to frostbite even when the ears and fingers are affected.
How is the sensor applied?
The Nasal Alar SpO2 Sensor sensor comes packaged with an applicator that makes it very easy to apply. Simply squeeze
the applicator to open the sensor and slip over the fleshy area at the side of the nose – either side. Release
the squeeze on the applicator and slide out to remove. The sensor may have to be pushed further onto the ala
after removal of the applicator. The sensor is held in place by a small clip with soft cushions that apply minimal
pressure on the tissue, but holds it securely without any adhesive.
Is there any skin prep required? What if there is lotion on the nose or the area is greasy?
There is no prep required as there is no adhesive used. However, for optimal performance, sunscreens, foundations, and powders should be removed from the side of the nose prior to use by degreasing according to the practice in your facility.
Does the sensor squeeze the nose?
The sensor was designed paying specific attention to the applied pressure. The cushions encapsulating the optical components are molded in a soft, medical grade silicone with smooth skin contacting surfaces. These smooth surfaces provide a high coefficient of friction, allowing the sensor to stay in place with minimal pressure, and without the use of adhesives. The light pressures allow for the use of a very flexible plastic clip with thin cross sections. It is very lightweight to further enhance patient comfort.
What about the wire coming off the sensor? How is that managed?
The sensor wire is very thin and lightweight and will not pull on the sensor. It can be looped over the patient’s ear (like a nasal cannula) to keep it out of the way. The wire can be secured to the cheek with tape and this is recommended when the sensor wire is looped over the patient’s ear.
It seems uncomfortable to have something on your nose.
The Nasal Alar SpO2 Sensor is actually very comfortable to wear and becomes “invisible” to the patient. The sensor applies minimal pressure on the tissue and can be worn for extended periods of time. And, the hands are free for normal patient functions like eating, drinking, sleeping or talking. The nasal alar sensor was validated in a usability study for 7-days of continuous use and was preferred by study participants over the finger sensor.
What if the patient has a nasal oxygen cannula?
The Nasal Alar SpO2 Sensor will not interfere with the nasal cannula. And the oxygen supply will not affect the sensor’s ability to determine a reliable measurement.
What if the patient has a mask?
The flex cable from the sensor is paper thin and can pass under a mask without affecting the seal. If used with heated humidification through a mask, the sensor should be used for no longer than 24 hours and the site checked frequently.
How long can the sensor be left in place?
Because it uses no adhesive on the nasal ala, the Nasal Alar SpO2 Sensor can be used for the patient’s entire length of stay. We recommend that the sensor site be inspected at least every 8 hours and the application site changed as necessary if circulation or skin integrity is compromised. During low perfusion, the sensor site needs to be assessed frequently for signs of tissue ischemia, which can lead to pressure necrosis. Persons with pre-existing skin conditions may be more susceptible to tissue damage.
Can I clean and re-use the sensor?
The Nasal Alar SpO2 Sensor is a disposable, single patient use device. The device cannot be cleaned or sterilized without potential damage to critical components. Re-use may cause unreliable readings and, if the sensor is used on more than one patient, there is a risk of cross contamination.
What monitors will work with the Nasal Alar SpO2 Sensor?
The Nasal Alar SpO2 Sensor is for use with compatible pulse oximeters. These include: Nellcor OxiMax and Oxisensor II compatible monitors and Philips FAST compatible monitors.