The Nasal Alar SpO2 Sensor is uniquely designed to take advantage of the robust vascular physiology of the nasal ala, suitable for use in ICU, ITU and Critical Care.

  • Over come the challenges of traditional pulse oximetry – Reliable and Accurate Monitoring

  • Fast detection of oxygen saturation changes, even at very low saturations

  • Simple to fit and adjust, secure, and comfortable for the patient

Available Items
ALARA1X Nasal ALAR Sensors 24/box

The challenge with traditional pulse oximetry is that when the need is most critical, the technology is most challenged and least likely to provide a consistent and reliable measurement. The most frequently used site for pulse oximetry is the – less than optimal – distal portion of the finger. The fingertip is subject to a number of challenges that make it inconsistent as a monitoring site including: decreased peripheral perfusion resulting from cardiovascular disease or hypovolemia, hypothermia, anxiety, or vasoactive medications; signal distortion due to motion; and ambient light interference, to name a few. In addition, during surgery the patient’s hands are often covered or wrapped, providing limited access by the anesthesiologist.

The nasal ala, the fleshy part of the nose adjacent to the opening of the nares (nostril), is a region rich in vasculature that offers a unique monitoring site for pulse oximetry. This site is fed by both the external and internal carotid arteries. The internal carotid provides blood to the brain, and this multi-directional arterial supply provides strong, reliable photoplethysmography signals that are rapidly responsive to changes in the patient’s arterial oxygen saturation. Unlike the extremities, this measurement site is less susceptible to patient movement and loss of signal due to variations in peripheral perfusion. And it is easily accessed by an anesthesiologist during surgery.

Placement of the Nasal Alar SpO2 Sensor is simple, fitting comfortably on the nasal ala. Since secure sensor placement does not depend upon adhesive attachment, the sensor is easily removed and reapplied as necessary for use throughout the length of the patient’s hospital stay.


Key features:

  • Provides reliability and measurement accuracy
  • Is unaffected by diminished peripheral perfusion
  • Enables faster detection of oxygen saturation changes
  • Provided consistent accuracy even at very low saturations
  • Easy access – Nasal ala attachment site is easily accessed during surgery
  • Economical, secure and comfortable – Non-adhesive attachment is easy to re-position and allows use for lengthy procedures or length of stay.
  • Robust monitoring – Alar site is resistant to monitoring interruptions that result from ambient light interference or motion-induced signal distortion.
The nose gets cold quickly. How can this site get a 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.

How 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 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.

To talk to a member of our specialised team, call 0131 467 5764