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A medical monitor is an automated medical device that senses a patient's vital signs and displays the results. In critical care units of hospitals it allows continuous supervision of a patient without continuous attendance thus improving patient care.
Monitors resemble oscilloscopes or computer monitors and use superficially similar technology. However, medical monitors have been safety engineered so that failures are either apparent or unimportant.
Additionally, some monitors (for example ECG and EEG) have an electrical contact with the patient. For these there are strict limits on how much current and voltage can be applied, even if the unit fails or becomes wet. They must also typically withstand electrical defibrillation without damage.
In the past, medical monitors tended to be highly specialized. One monitor would track a patient's blood pressure, while another would measure pulse oximetry and so on. Today the trend is toward multi-parameter monitors that can track many different vital signs at once.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Medical_monitor". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|