IRVINE, Calif., Dec. 2, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Masimo (Nasdaq: MASI), the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), jointly announced today the launch of "The Silent Killer" educational campaign aimed at raising awareness of the duty-related dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and reducing the known risk factors that unnecessarily kill or injure fire fighters each year. This important new health and safety campaign includes a dramatic six-minute video that highlights the immediate and long-term health risks associated with CO exposure, the emotional impact these risks can have on fire fighters and their families and advocates proper prevention strategies. The video can be viewed online at www.thesilentkiller.net and DVDs will be widely distributed to fire departments throughout the world.
Carbon monoxide poisoning is a danger at every fire, but this "Silent Killer" is often present without symptoms, making awareness, proper diagnosis and treatment difficult(1) This puts fire fighters on the scene of a fire at significant risk because even mild CO poisoning can rob the brain of oxygen,(2) which can lead to poor decision making(3) It can also rob the heart, brain, and vital organs of oxygen, causing life-threatening complications — with half of on-duty fire fighter deaths being attributed to heart attacks or stroke(4) Just one severe CO poisoning almost doubles the long-term risk of death(5).
This new education campaign urges fire fighters to take personal responsibility for their health and safety by recognizing the occupational hazards of CO exposure and wearing protective masks during both active fire and overhaul operations to prevent unnecessary risks. It also encourages fire fighters to get their CO levels tested on the fire scene with an approved noninvasive portable device(6) and, if elevated, to seek immediate treatment, even if they are feeling well.
The video was produced and narrated by Randolph Mantooth, widely recognized for his portrayal of Los Angeles County Fire fighter/Paramedic "Johnny Gage" in the popular 1970s NBC Universal television series "Emergency!"
"Too many of our fire rescuers and first responders do not believe they too are in danger and, consequently, do not adequately protect themselves from becoming unknowing victims of CO poisoning," said Mantooth, a vocal advocate for CO awareness and prevention since his own near-death CO experience 20 years ago, "That's why it has become my mission to ensure that each and every fire fighter and emergency first responder knows and understands these significant occupational hazards, how to properly protect themselves, and how to prevent unnecessary health risks to improve the odds that they will be around tomorrow to do what they were born to do," Mantooth said.
"CO is a significant and deadly occupational risk factor for fire fighters," said Harold A. Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters. "We know that carbon monoxide (CO) is present in every fire and symptoms of CO poisoning are nonspecific and easy to miss. Any fire fighter potentially exposed to CO and presenting with headache, nausea, shortness of breath or gastrointestinal symptoms should be assessed."
IAFC President and Chairman of the Board, Chief Jack Parow, stated: "We are pleased to be a part of this important educational campaign. Carbon monoxide is a real risk that fire fighters and first responders face every day. With the proper awareness, precautions, and testing, we can prevent firefighter deaths and extend lives." The IAFC will be assisting with distribution of the video, including sending complimentary copies of the video to its membership. "As with many issues, education is the key to success," continued Parow.
Masimo Founder and CEO, Joe Kiani, stated, "We are proud to have supported the development and dissemination of this educational material for fire fighters and first responders. The 'Silent Killer' campaign is our opportunity to help save the lives of the men and women who put their lives on the line everyday for each of us. We know that the more successful this campaign is in reaching and educating them about the hidden dangers and risks of carbon monoxide poisoning, the fewer of our heroes will become victims and have their lives shortened by carbon monoxide poisoning."
The new website, www.thesilentkiller.net was specifically developed to help raise awareness among fire fighters, first responders, emergency medical service (EMS) personnel, and their friends and families about the unsuspected occupational dangers of CO poisoning and how best to protect themselves. Designed as a destination site for all emergency first responders, the "Silent Killer" website features the new video along with a host of other important health and safety resources, including:
- CO Fact Sheets with medical/scientific information about the health and safety risks of CO poisoning
- Special CO supplement published in the Journal of Emergency Medical Services titled "The Silent Killer: CO Monitoring Adds a New Dimension to Firefighter Rehab & Emergency Care"
- CO screening and medical monitoring outlined in NFPA 1584: National Standard on the Rehabilitation Process for Members During Emergency Operations and Training Exercises
- Links to other fire fighter, first responder, and EMS industry websites and resources
- Free online ordering of "The Silent Killer" DVD, as well as other available resources
(1) Hampson, NB, et al: "Carboxyhemoglobin levels in carbon monoxide poisoning: do they correlate with the clinical picture?" American Journal of Emergency Medicine. 26:665-669, 2008.
(2) Bledsoe, BE: "The Perils of CO" FireRescue Magazine. September 2005.
(3) Jakubowski, G. The Invisible Incidents: How to respond to CO alarms. FireRescue Magazine. 22(11):52–55, 2004.
(4) Bledsoe, BE. "The Dangers of CO: Understanding Cardiovascular Risks to Responders from CO Exposure." Journal of Emergency Medical Service.
(5) Hampson, NB et al. "Increased long term mortality among survivors of acute carbon monoxide poisoning." Crit Care Med. 2009; 37(6): 1941-47.
(6) NFPA 1584: Standards on the Rehabilitation Process for Members During Emergency Operations and Training Exercise. Annex A section A.188.8.131.52(1)
Masimo (NASDAQ: MASI) is the global leader in innovative noninvasive monitoring technologies that significantly improve patient care—helping solve "unsolvable" problems. In 1995, the company debuted Measure-Through Motion and Low Perfusion pulse oximetry, known as Masimo SET®, which virtually eliminated false alarms and increased pulse oximetry's ability to detect life-threatening events. More than 100 independent and objective studies demonstrate Masimo SET provides the most reliable SpO2 and pulse rate measurements even under the most challenging clinical conditions, including patient motion and low peripheral perfusion. In 2005, Masimo introduced rainbow® SET Pulse CO-Oximetry(TM) technology, allowing noninvasive and continuous monitoring of blood constituents that previously required invasive procedures, including total hemoglobin (SpHb®), oxygen content (SpOC(TM)), carboxyhemoglobin (SpCO®), methemoglobin (SpMet®), and Pleth Variability Index (PVI®), in addition to SpO2, pulse rate, and perfusion index (PI). In 2008, Masimo introduced Patient SafetyNet™, a remote monitoring and wireless clinician notification system designed to help hospitals avoid preventable deaths and injuries associated with failure to rescue events. In 2009, Masimo introduced rainbow Acoustic Monitoring(TM), the first-ever noninvasive and continuous monitoring of acoustic respiration rate (RRa™). Masimo's rainbow SET technology platform offers a breakthrough in patient safety by helping clinicians detect life-threatening conditions and helping guide treatment options. In 2010, Masimo acquired SEDLine®, a pioneer in the development of innovative brain function monitoring technology and devices. Masimo SET and Masimo rainbow SET technologies can be also found in over 100 multiparameter patient monitors from over 50 medical device manufacturers around the world. Founded in 1989, Masimo has the mission of "Improving Patient Outcomes and Reducing Cost of Care by Taking Noninvasive Monitoring to New Sites and Applications®." Additional information about Masimo and its products may be found at www.masimo.com.
About the International Association of Fire Fighters
The International Association of Fire Fighters, headquartered in Washington, DC, represents more than 298,000 full-time professional fire fighters and paramedics and is the leading advocate for health and safety of first responders in North America. More information is available at www.iaff.org
About the International Association of Fire Chiefs
The IAFC represents the leadership of firefighters and emergency responders worldwide. IAFC members are the world's leading experts in firefighting, emergency medical services, terrorism response, hazardous materials spills, natural disasters, search and rescue, and public safety legislation. Since 1873, the IAFC has provided a forum for its members to exchange ideas, develop professionally and uncover the latest products and services available to first responders.
This press release includes forward-looking statements as defined in Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, in connection with the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations about future events affecting us and are subject to risks and uncertainties, all of which are difficult to predict and many of which are beyond our control and could cause our actual results to differ materially and adversely from those expressed in our forward-looking statements as a result of various risk factors, including, but not limited to: :risks related to assumptions regarding repeatability of clinical study results; risks related to the belief that the Masimo Rad-57 will allow clinicians to noninvasively and immediately measure the amount of CO in the bloodstream for all patients and under all conditions; as well as other factors discussed in the "Risk Factors" section of our most recent reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), which may be obtained for free at the SEC's website at www.sec.gov. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in our forward-looking statements are reasonable, we do not know whether our expectations will prove correct. All forward-looking statements included in this press release are expressly qualified in their entirety by the foregoing cautionary statements. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of today's date. We do not undertake any obligation to update, amend or clarify these forward-looking statements or the "Risk Factors" contained in our most recent reports filed with the SEC, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required under the applicable securities laws.
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