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Appl Physiol Nutr Metab ; 46(7): 753-762, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1571437


We sought to determine the impact of wearing cloth or surgical masks on the cardiopulmonary responses to moderate-intensity exercise. Twelve subjects (n = 5 females) completed three, 8-min cycling trials while breathing through a non-rebreathing valve (laboratory control), cloth, or surgical mask. Heart rate (HR), oxyhemoglobin saturation (SpO2), breathing frequency, mouth pressure, partial pressure of end-tidal carbon dioxide (PetCO2) and oxygen (PetO2), dyspnea were measured throughout exercise. A subset of n = 6 subjects completed an additional exercise bout without a mask (ecological control). There were no differences in breathing frequency, HR or SpO2 across conditions (all p > 0.05). Compared with the laboratory control (4.7 ± 0.9 cmH2O [mean ± SD]), mouth pressure swings were smaller with the surgical mask (0.9 ± 0.7; p < 0.0001), but similar with the cloth mask (3.6 ± 4.8 cmH2O; p = 0.66). Wearing a cloth mask decreased PetO2 (-3.5 ± 3.7 mm Hg) and increased PetCO2 (+2.0 ± 1.3 mm Hg) relative to the ecological control (both p < 0.05). There were no differences in end-tidal gases between mask conditions and laboratory control (both p > 0.05). Dyspnea was similar between the control conditions and the surgical mask (p > 0.05) but was greater with the cloth mask compared with laboratory (+0.9 ± 1.2) and ecological (+1.5 ± 1.3) control conditions (both p < 0.05). Wearing a mask during short-term moderate-intensity exercise may increase dyspnea but has minimal impact on the cardiopulmonary response. Novelty: Wearing surgical or cloth masks during exercise has no impact on breathing frequency, tidal volume, oxygenation, and heart rate However, there are some changes in inspired and expired gas fractions that are physiologically irrelevant. In young healthy individuals, wearing surgical or cloth masks during submaximal exercise has few physiological consequences.

Exercise/physiology , Heart Rate , Masks , Oxyhemoglobins/metabolism , Respiratory Rate , Adult , COVID-19/prevention & control , Carbon Dioxide/physiology , Dyspnea/physiopathology , Equipment Design , Exercise Test , Face , Female , Humans , Male , Mouth/physiology , Oxygen/physiology , Partial Pressure , Pressure , Skin Temperature , Tidal Volume , Young Adult
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(3): e210414, 2021 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1111150


Importance: Face masks have been associated with effective prevention of diffusion of viruses via droplets. However, the use of face masks among children, especially those aged younger than 3 years, is debated, and the US Centers for Disease Control and American Academy of Physicians recommend the use of face mask only among individuals aged 3 years or older. Objective: To examine whether the use of surgical facial masks among children is associated with episodes of oxygen desaturation or respiratory distress. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cohort study was conducted from May through June 2020 in a secondary-level hospital pediatric unit in Italy. Included participants were 47 healthy children divided by age (ie, group A, aged ≤24 months, and group B, aged >24 months to ≤144 months). Data were analyzed from May through June 2020. Interventions: All participants were monitored every 15 minutes for changes in respiratory parameters for the first 30 minutes while not wearing a surgical face mask and for the next 30 minutes while wearing a face mask. Children aged 24 months and older then participated in a walking test for 12 minutes. Main Outcomes and Measures: Changes in respiratory parameters during the use of surgical masks were evaluated. Results: Among 47 children, 22 children (46.8%) were aged 24 months or younger (ie, group A), with 11 boys (50.0%) and median (interquartile range [IQR]) age 12.5 (10.0-17.5) months, and 25 children (53.2%) were aged older than 24 months to 144 months or younger, with 13 boys (52.0%) and median (IQR) age 100.0 (72.0-120.0) months. During the first 60 minutes of evaluation in the 2 groups, there was no significant change in group A in median (IQR) partial pressure of end-tidal carbon dioxide (Petco2; 33.0 [32.0-34.0] mm Hg; P for Kruskal Wallis = .59), oxygen saturation (Sao2; 98.0% [97.0%-99.0%]; P for Kruskal Wallis = .61), pulse rate (PR; 130.0 [115.0-140.0] pulsations/min; P for Kruskal Wallis = .99), or respiratory rate (RR; 30.0 [28.0-33.0] breaths/min; P for Kruskal Wallis = .69) or for group B in median (IQR) Petco2 (36.0 [34.0-38.0] mm Hg; P for Kruskal Wallis = .97), Sao2 (98.0% [97.0%-98.0%]; P for Kruskal Wallis = .52), PR (96.0 [84.0-104.5] pulsations/min; P for Kruskal Wallis test = .48), or RR (22.0 [20.0-25.0] breaths/min; P for Kruskal Wallis = .55). After the group B walking test, compared with before the walking test, there was a significant increase in median (IQR) PR (96.0 [84.0-104.5] pulsations/min vs 105.0 [100.0-115.0] pulsations/min; P < .02) and RR (22.0 [20.0-25.0] breaths/min vs 26.0 [24.0-29.0] breaths/min; P < .05). Conclusions and Relevance: This cohort study among infants and young children in Italy found that the use of facial masks was not associated with significant changes in Sao2 or Petco2, including among children aged 24 months and younger.

COVID-19/prevention & control , Masks/adverse effects , Pandemics , Respiration , Respiratory Insufficiency/etiology , Carbon Dioxide/physiology , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Infant , Italy , Male , Oxygen/blood , Oxygen/physiology , Partial Pressure , Respiratory Function Tests , Respiratory Rate , SARS-CoV-2
Anaesthesia ; 75(8): 1022-1027, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-751832


The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the demand for disposable N95 respirators. Re-usable elastomeric respirators may provide a suitable alternative. Proprietary elastomeric respirator filters may become depleted as demand increases. An alternative may be the virus/bacterial filters used in anaesthesia circuits, if they can be adequately fitted onto the elastomeric respirators. In addition, many re-usable elastomeric respirators do not filter exhaled breaths. If used for sterile procedures, this would also require modification. We designed a 3D-printed adaptor that permits elastomeric respirators to interface with anaesthesia circuit filters and created a simple modification to divert exhaled breaths through the filter. We conducted a feasibility study evaluating the performance of our modified elastomeric respirators. A convenience sample of eight volunteers was recruited. Quantitative fit testing, respiratory rate and end-tidal carbon dioxide were recorded during fit testing exercises and after 1 h of wear. All eight volunteers obtained excellent quantitative fit testing throughout the trial. The mean (SD) end-tidal carbon dioxide was 4.5 (0.5) kPa and 4.6 (0.4) kPa at baseline and after 1 h of wear (p = 0.148). The mean (SD) respiratory rate was 17 (4) breaths.min-1 and 17 (3) breaths.min-1 at baseline and after 1 h of wear (p = 0.435). Four out of eight subjects self-reported discomfort; two reported facial pressure, one reported exhalation resistance and one reported transient dizziness on exertion. Re-usable elastomeric respirators to utilise anaesthesia circuit filters through a 3D-printed adaptor may be a potential alternative to disposable N95 respirators during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Filtration/instrumentation , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Ventilators, Mechanical , Adult , COVID-19 , Carbon Dioxide/physiology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Elastomers , Equipment Design , Equipment Reuse , Feasibility Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Materials Testing/methods , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Printing, Three-Dimensional , Respiratory Rate , SARS-CoV-2 , Ventilators, Mechanical/supply & distribution