At last, we have a better option for detecting, in real time, oxygen starvation in a vital organ. In small people, at least. Until now, we’ve either gone with indirect blood tests or just observing organ function (meaning: we usually don’t know a patient’s kidneys are failing, for instance, until they stop making pee). A Detroit Free Press article covers Somanetic’s Oximeters, which go beyond the fingertip pulse oximeters so common in the hospital:
“In small children,” the Oximeter “sensors penetrate deeply enough to see oxygenation of various organs, such as the liver and kidneys,” Barrett said.
That makes the device especially useful in monitoring children during the period immediately after surgery when life-threatening or disabling complications can occur very quickly.
When blood-oxygen levels drop in limbs or organs, it can indicate that the body is shutting down circulation to preserve the brain, a potential early indicator of shock, Barrett said.
The Oximeter alerts medical personnel immediately when that occurs, he said.
Somanetics kind of sounds like a culty religion, and it sounds like they converted cardiac surgeon Dr. Chris Lionakis:
Liakonis is participating in a study to determine whether the Oximeter reduces the risk of stroke and other complications among cardiac patients. It is one of several studies Somanetics hopes will boost demand for its monitors among doctors.
“There are other monitors, but this is still the best on the market,” Liakonis said. “I’m not being paid by the company. This monitor is noninvasive and provides instantaneous results. I would like to see it become the standard of care.”
But they’ve got a lot of research to back up their cerebral oximeter; we look forward to more data from other organs.
More from Somanetics…