The Healthdyne (Respironics) 970S SmartMonitor monitors heart rate and respiration, and can be programmed to give an alarm when measurements outside the programmed limits are indicated. Electrical leads are attached to the patient’s chest and connected to the monitor. When heart rate and respiration are within the limits entered into the program panel (found under a panel on the bottom of the monitor accessed with a screwdriver), then the green heart and respiration lights on the front panel will blink. Any reading outside the programmed limits results in an audible alarm, and the red Apnea or Heart (high or low) LCD will illuminate on the front panel.
If heart rate and respiration return to normal, the audible alarm stops, but the red lights will continue to blink, allowing the clinician to note that a momentary problem had occurred. A loose connection light indicates if there is a problem with the setup or condition of the leads to the patient.
The 970S runs on AC power, and can run on its internal rechargeable battery for up to 24 hours if necessary.
Alarm conditions cause a piercing audible alarm, and can only be reset by pressing and holding the reset button, and then pressing the On/Off Button. If the On/Off Button is pressed without holding the reset button, the alarm will sound continuously. This is called the "sibling alarm" because it usually occurs when a brother or sister of the patient attempts to turn off the alarm without changing the alarm condition.
The unit has a 1.2 megabyte memory which records up to 500 event incidents, a computer modem connection for remote monitoring, and external inputs for Body Position Sensors and a pulse oximeter.