Nellcor Evolution

For over 40 years we have strived to provide pulse oximetry solutions that meet the evolving needs of our customers and patients.

Because all generations – newborns, children and adults – deserve premium performance.

And for more than 40 years, clinicians have trusted the Nellcor™ brand to provide fast, accurate and consistent pulse oximetry performance across a wide range of patient needs, from neonates to adults. 4,5,7

These traits have helped make the Nellcor™ brand an industry leader in pulse oximetry.

Our technology didn't change, our technology evolved.

You need accuracy the most when risk is highest.

What is Nellcor™? Learn the truth about Nellcor™ technology.

The Nellcor™ Facts pages provide educational information about Nellcor™ with OxiMax™ technology as well as current clinical trends in pulse oximetry monitoring. 

Patient Types

Discover how Nellcor™ can contribute to improving the health of all kinds of patients.

Nellcor™ SatSeconds Alarm Management

Medtronic received FDA clearance for a motion-tolerant bedside pulse oximeter portfolio that is also compliant with ISO 80601-2-61 (International Organization for Standardization) standards for pulse oximetry.*

An estimated 85 percent to 99 percent of alarms in healthcare facilities don’t require clinical intervention.1,2 

Because of this high percentage of insignificant alerts, clinicians can develop “alarm fatigue,” which can result in their tuning out these notifications and missing the alarms that truly signal a patient’s critical medical crisis. Monitor alarms are designed to alert caregivers to changes in a patient’s condition and can save lives. However, as the number of alarms encountered by clinicians on a daily basis rises, it has become difficult for caregivers to distinguish between clinically significant alarms and nuisance alarms. As a result, alarm fatigue has become a serious issue, which puts patients at risk. The SatSeconds feature analyzes desaturation events by multiplying their duration, in seconds, by the number of percentage points the patient's saturation drops below the SpO2 alarm limit. As a safety precaution, when three or more SpO2 alarm violations occur within 60 seconds, an alarm will sound even if the SatSeconds limit has not been reached.



The proprietary Nellcor™ SatSeconds algorithm works on a basic formula — generating alarms based on the severity of a drop in SpO2 and the length of the drop. SatSeconds filters out a very short dip in SpO2 which may help reduce nuisance alarms by 40% in neonates and minimize alarm fatigue. If SpO2 drops below the alarm threshold for a longer period, the alarm will sound. So, you know the alarm is significant.

CCHD Guidelines

CCHD guidelines recommend using motion-tolerant pulse oximeters

Pulse Oximetry Screening (POS) should be performed in two extremities (right hand and either foot) using new generation, motion tolerant equipment.**

Nellcor™ pulse oximetry monitors are designed to meet your CCHD screening needs:

  • Motion-tolerant pulse oximeter
  • Reports functional oxygen saturation
  • Has been validated in low perfusion conditions
  • Has been cleared by the FDA for use in newborns
  • Has an accuracy of ± 2%


Discover our broad online education offering.

What is the Digi-Cal Advantage?

Nellcor™ pulse oximetry with OxiMax™ technology is different from other pulse oximetry technology because we place the individual sensor's calibration curve in the sensor itself. Why does this matter? Because with an individual calibration curve placed in the sensor, Nellcor™ with OxiMax™ technology provides superior monitor and sensor performance. The Nellcor™ OxiMax™ technology monitoring system incorporates a small digital memory chip within every Nellcor™ OxiMax™ sensor. This technology enables the monitor to deliver accurate SpO2 and pulse rate readings even when confronted with challenging conditions such as patient motion combined with low perfusion.4

To take advantage of the latest Nellcor™ technology innovation, it is not always necessary to purchase new bedside monitors or multi-parameter monitor equipment.

New sensors and monitor enhancements can be added at any time.

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  • † Oxygen saturation accuracy can be affected by certain environmental, equipment, and patient physiologic conditions (as discussed in the operator’s manual for the monitor) that influence readings of SpO2. Please consult the IFU & manual for full safety information.

  • *Motion tolerant monitors include Nellcor™ PM100N and PM1000N SpO2 monitoring systems.

  • **Pulse oximetry screening for critical congenital heart defects:  a European consensus Statement.The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health 2017; published online Aug 30.

  • 1. Graham KC, Cvach M. Monitor alarm fatigue: standardizing use of physiological monitors and decreasing nuisance alarms. Am J Crit Care. 2010;19(1):28-35.

  • 2. The Joint Commission. Medical device alarm safety in hospitals. Sentinel Event Alert. April 8, 2013; issue 50. Available at:

  • 3. Johnston ED, Boyle B, Juszczak E, King A, Brocklehurst P, Stenson BJ. Oxygen targeting in preterm infants using the Masimo SET Radical pulse oximeter. Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 2011;96(6):F429-33

  • 4. Internal Covidien Studies: Combined motion and low perfusion Study summary 10047614 Rev. A, 2003

  • 5. Internal Covidien studies: Nellcor Invasive Controlled Hypoxia Study 10028895 rev.A, 2004; 10035078 rev.A, 10035074 rev. A, 2001

  • 6. Internal covidien studies: Nellcor Motion Testing 10035078, 10047614, 10011350, 2006

  • 7. Internal studies: Report clinical accuracy and low sat, Covidien 10096850 revA, 2012; RE0085099 revA 2016; MDT16018PMC10U 2017;