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1.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 6214, 2022 Apr 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1788313

ABSTRACT

This population-based observational, cross-sectional, and descriptive survey was to investigate the relationship of increased face mask usage in the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) era with mask-associated dry eye (MADE). Participants aged 6-79 years old with formal school education were selected. All participants finished the 19-item questionnaire online, distributed through different social media platforms. From 6925 participants who submitted eligible questionnaires, MADE was reported in 547 participants, which included 419 participants who developed new dry eye symptoms after wearing face masks and 128 participants whose pre-existing dry eye symptoms worsened with mask wearing. Longer time of face mask wearing, nonstandard wearing of face masks, reduced outdoor time, decreased daily reading time, shortened visual display terminals time, and dry environment were positively associated with MADE. There were significant associations between perceived MADE and age, female sex, education, use of glasses and contact lenses, and pre-existing dry eye. MADE was more common in adults aged > 20 years than those aged ≤ 20 years or juveniles. MADE incidence increased. Standard wearing of face masks was suggested as a protective factor for MADE. Awareness about the possible risk of MADE should also be created and the clinical dry eye signs should be verified.Clinical trial registration number: NCT04744805.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Dry Eye Syndromes , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Child , Cross-Sectional Studies , Dry Eye Syndromes/diagnosis , Dry Eye Syndromes/epidemiology , Dry Eye Syndromes/etiology , Female , Humans , Masks/adverse effects , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
2.
JAMA ; 327(14): 1392-1393, 2022 Apr 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1787594
3.
PLoS One ; 17(4): e0266790, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1785205

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: When caring for COVID-19 patients, using personal protective equipment (PPE) may significantly lower the risk of infection of health care workers (HCWs). However, adverse responses due to PPE use have been observed during the 2003 SARS pandemic. This study will highlight the different adverse reactions caused by face mask use, one of the essential components of PPE in the HCWs, and identify the factors associated with these problems. METHODS: This cross-sectional survey was conducted between September and October 2021. 404 HCWs were selected by snowball sampling from four randomly selected healthcare facilities of Bangladesh. Trained volunteers collected data by face-to-face interview using a pretested structured questionnaire. Data were analyzed using STATA (v.16) and summarized using frequency and relative frequency. Later, the chi-square test was used to explore bivariate relationships, and the binary logistic regression model was fit to identify the predictors. RESULTS: The majority of the respondents were 26-36 years (70.30%), male (69.80%), and doctors (74.50%). 48.76% of the respondents had unfavorable skin responses beneath the face masks; female gender, physicians, professionals working more than 32 hours a week, wearing N95, and more than one mask were predictors of skin problem. 28.47% and 60.15% of all participants suffered from some form of oral and neurological problems, respectively. CONCLUSION: Face mask use sequelae, especially skin, oral and neurological problems, are prevalent among health care workers. Therefore, necessary precautionary measures should be taken to safeguard our frontlines.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Masks , Bangladesh/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Health Personnel , Humans , Male , Masks/adverse effects , Personal Protective Equipment/adverse effects , Prevalence , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Ned Tijdschr Tandheelkd ; 129(3): 115-118, 2022 Mar.
Article in Dutch | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1732399

ABSTRACT

Face masks are widely used in dental practices, but little is known about the potential adverse effects of wearing a face mask, covering the mouth-and-nose area, on the condition of the eyes. During COVID-19 times, more eye-related complaints, such as irritated, burning or dry eyes, have been reported and observed as a result of the (mandatory) use of face masks, The combination of wearing a face mask and working on a computer appears to also cause more dry-eye complaints. Symptoms such as headache, double vision, blurry vision, irritated red eyes and/or dry eyes are often diagnosed under the collective term asthenopia, also called 'eye strain' in the literature in English. These work-related complaints are often accepted as 'normal', especially because they develop during the day. During the COVID-19 period, more knowledge has been gained about the use of face masks, face shields and eye health. It is therefore possible to consider whether personal protection with a face mask in the dental practice can cause eye-related complaints.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Masks , COVID-19/prevention & control , Headache , Humans , Masks/adverse effects , Mouth , SARS-CoV-2
5.
Indian J Ophthalmol ; 70(3): 995-999, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1715912

ABSTRACT

Purpose: Investigating the effect of different face masks on dry eye disease (DED) among healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: This was a comparative, cross-sectional study. Participants were included into two groups: group 1 (n = 30) wore surgical masks, and group 2 (n = 30) wore N95 masks with face shields. Demographic and ocular surface disease index questionnaires (OSDI) were performed. In addition, Tear break-up time (TBUT), corneal and conjunctival fluorescein staining, and meibography to assess meibomian gland loss (MGL) were performed on all participants. Independent T-test was used to compare continuous parameters and Chi-square test for categorical variables. The relationship between continuous variables was tested using bivariate Pearson correlation. Results: Sixty healthcare workers participated in this study (36 females and 24 males). The mean (±SD) age of the surgical mask and N95 groups was 35.33 (±14.94) and 36.63 (±10.64) years, respectively. Both masks caused dryness according to TBUT, MGL, and OSDI scores. DED per DEWS II definition was observed in 14 (46.7%) and 16 (53.3%) patients in groups 1 and 2, respectively. Comparing the two groups, N95 mask caused significantly more dryness according to TBUT (P = 0.042) and fluorescein staining (P = 0.038 for the right eye and P = 0.015 for the left eye). Conclusion: Physicians should be aware of the potential dry eye signs secondary to face mask wear during the COVID-19 pandemic. Further attention should be taken in patients who suffer from preexisting dry eye syndrome and in patients who undergo intraocular operations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Dry Eye Syndromes , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Dry Eye Syndromes/diagnosis , Dry Eye Syndromes/epidemiology , Dry Eye Syndromes/etiology , Female , Humans , Male , Masks/adverse effects , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Tears , Young Adult
6.
J Clin Neurosci ; 97: 87-92, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1712826

ABSTRACT

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and disinfectants has become necessary to prevent transmission of the virus. However, the effects of such pandemic obligations on chronic diseases such as migraine have not been fully elucidated. We aimed to investigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the use of masks and disinfectants, on migraine patients. A total of 310 migraine patients were included. Demographic data, migraine characteristics, and mask and disinfectant use were obtained through a face-to-face survey. Patients were grouped as worsening, stable, or improving according to pre-pandemic and pandemic migraine characteristics. Migraine worsening was found in 177 (57.1%) patients, stable course in 96 (31%) patients, and improvement in 37 (11.9%) patients. The use of scalp contact masks and double masks and daily mask duration were higher in the worsening group (p:0.005, p:0.005 and p:0.001). In addition, the frequency of personal disinfectant use was higher in this group (p:0.011). In regression analysis, mask type, daily mask duration, presence of allodynia, being a health worker, depression score, and odor were determined as independent risk factors for migraine worsening. We found a worsening of migraines in more than half of patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. We also demonstrated a relationship between migraine worsening and mask type, number of masks, and intensive disinfectant use. Migraine patients should be advised of optimal prevention methods based on individual social and working conditions rather than exaggerated preventative measures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disinfectants , Migraine Disorders , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Masks/adverse effects , Migraine Disorders/epidemiology , Migraine Disorders/etiology , Migraine Disorders/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
7.
PLoS One ; 17(1): e0262344, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1622362

ABSTRACT

The use of surgical-type face masks has become increasingly common during the COVID-19 pandemic. Recent findings suggest that it is harder to categorise the facial expressions of masked faces, than of unmasked faces. To date, studies of the effects of mask-wearing on emotion recognition have used categorisation paradigms: authors have presented facial expression stimuli and examined participants' ability to attach the correct label (e.g., happiness, disgust). While the ability to categorise particular expressions is important, this approach overlooks the fact that expression intensity is also informative during social interaction. For example, when predicting an interactant's future behaviour, it is useful to know whether they are slightly fearful or terrified, contented or very happy, slightly annoyed or angry. Moreover, because categorisation paradigms force observers to pick a single label to describe their percept, any additional dimensionality within observers' interpretation is lost. In the present study, we adopted a complementary emotion-intensity rating paradigm to study the effects of mask-wearing on expression interpretation. In an online experiment with 120 participants (82 female), we investigated how the presence of face masks affects the perceived emotional profile of prototypical expressions of happiness, sadness, anger, fear, disgust, and surprise. For each of these facial expressions, we measured the perceived intensity of all six emotions. We found that the perceived intensity of intended emotions (i.e., the emotion that the actor intended to convey) was reduced by the presence of a mask for all expressions except for anger. Additionally, when viewing all expressions except surprise, masks increased the perceived intensity of non-intended emotions (i.e., emotions that the actor did not intend to convey). Intensity ratings were unaffected by presentation duration (500ms vs 3000ms), or attitudes towards mask wearing. These findings shed light on the ambiguity that arises when interpreting the facial expressions of masked faces.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Emotions/physiology , Masks/adverse effects , Adult , Facial Expression , Facial Recognition/physiology , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
8.
Arch Cardiol Mex ; 91(Supl): 12-17, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1605474

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: COVID-19 pandemic is associated with high incidence and fatality, however, non-communicable diseases remain a global public health problem with even greater morbidity and mortality. At present, there is a lag in diagnosis and treatment of patients with heart disease, particularly the performance of exercise testing (ET), due to the fear of aerosol generation and viral dissemination. Although some centers carry out the tests with the use of masks, the information is still superficial and preliminary. The objective of the study was to describe the ergometric performance observed when performing exercise tests during the COVID-19 (PANDEMIC-G) pandemic and to highlight the differences with those results carried out in another time, when there was no COVID-19 (NO PANDEMIC). METHOD: A cross-sectional study was carried out. PANDEMIC-G patients underwent ET between March 2020 and December 2020, once a biological triage was done and all of them wore N95 masks. They were compared to NO PANDEMIC patients that performed an ET between March 2019 and December 2019. Demographic and ergometric variables were presented and analyzed according to their type. All p < 0.05 were considered stochastically significant. RESULTS: A total of 361 ET were studied: 209 (58%) belonged to NO PANDEMIC and 152 (42%) to PANDEMIC-G. The number of ET stopped by dyspnea was greater in PANDEMIC-G (117) than in NO PANDEMIC (8). Exercise tolerance did not show significant changes. Systolic blood pressure, double product, and myocardial oxygen utilization were higher in PANDEMIC-G ET (p < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: In the COVID-era, fewer stress tests were performed, which were suspended more frequently due to dyspnea. Higher values of systolic blood pressure and myocardial oxygen utilization were observed in PANDEMIC-G as well.


OBJETIVO: La pandemia de COVID-19 se asocia con una alta incidencia y letalidad; sin embargo, las enfermedades no transmisibles siguen siendo un problema de salud pública mundial con una morbilidad y mortalidad aún mayores. Actualmente, existe un retraso en el diagnóstico y tratamiento de los pacientes con enfermedades cardíacas, particularmente en la realización de la prueba de esfuerzo (PE), debido al temor a la generación de aerosoles y la diseminación viral. Aunque algunos centros realizan las pruebas con el uso de tapabocas, la información aún es superficial y preliminar. El objetivo del estudio fue describir el desempeño ergométrico observado al realizar pruebas de ejercicio durante la pandemia COVID-19 (PANDEMIC-G) y remarcar las diferencias con las pruebas realizadas antes de ella (NO PANDEMIC). Método: Se realizó un estudio transversal. Los pacientes con PANDEMIC-G se sometieron a PE entre marzo y diciembre de 2020, una vez que se realizó un triaje biológico y todos usaron tapabocas N95. Fueron comparados con pacientes NO PANDEMIC, que realizaron una PE entre marzo y diciembre de 2019. Las variables se presentaron y analizaron según su tipo. Todos los valores de p inferiores a 0.05 se consideraron estocásticamente significativos. RESULTADOS: Se estudiaron un total de 361 PE, donde 209 (58%) pertenecían a NO PANDEMIC y 152 (42%) a PANDEMIC-G. El número de PE detenidas por disnea fue mayor en PANDEMIC-G (n = 117) que en NO PANDEMIC (n = 8). La tolerancia al ejercicio no mostró cambios significativos. La presión arterial sistólica, el producto doble y la utilización de oxígeno del miocardio fueron mayores en las PE en el PANDEMIC-G (p < 0.01). CONCLUSIONES: En la era COVID se realizaron menos pruebas de esfuerzo, que se suspendieron con mayor frecuencia por disnea. También se observaron valores más altos de presión arterial sistólica y utilización de oxígeno del miocardio en PANDEMIC-G.


Subject(s)
Exercise Test , Masks , COVID-19 , Cross-Sectional Studies , Dyspnea/etiology , Exercise Test/adverse effects , Humans , Masks/adverse effects , Oxygen , Pandemics
11.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 23240, 2021 12 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1545652

ABSTRACT

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people were encouraged and sometimes required to wear disposable facemasks, which then are discarded creating an environmental problem. In this study, we aim at investigating novel ideas to recycle wasted facemasks in order to lower the environmental impact. An experimental study has been carried out to investigate the possibility of using discarded masks for thermal insulation and sound absorption. The wasted masks are simulated by new masks, which stripped off the nose clips, elastic ear loops and are heated to 120 °C for one hour to kill any biological contaminants. The masks are also melted to investigate their thermal insulation and sound absorption properties. Results show that the thermal conductivity coefficients of the loose and melted masks are 0.03555 and 0.08683 W/m K, respectively, at room temperature of about 25 °C. Results show also that the sound absorption coefficient for loose masks is above 0.6 for the frequency range 600-5000 Hz. The loose facemasks are found to be thermally stable up to 295 °C, elastic ear loops at 304.7 °C, and the composite (melted) facemasks at 330.0 °C using the thermo-gravimetric analysis. Characterization of the facemask's three-layer fibers and the composite (melted) samples is obtained using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The three-point bending test is obtained for the composite specimens showing good values of flexural stress, flexural strain, and flexural elastic modulus. These results are promising about using such discarded masks as new thermal insulation and sound-absorbing materials for buildings replacing the synthetic or petrochemical insulation materials.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Hot Temperature , Masks/standards , Noise/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Thermal Conductivity , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Masks/adverse effects , Masks/virology , Sound
12.
Ann Intern Med ; 174(11): 1630-1631, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1524534
13.
Arch Toxicol ; 96(1): 105-119, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1520331

ABSTRACT

The world is living a pandemic situation derived from the worldwide spreading of SARS-CoV-2 virus causing COVID-19. Facemasks have proven to be one of the most effective prophylactic measures to avoid the infection that has made that wearing of facemasks has become mandatory in most of the developed countries. Silver and graphene nanoparticles have proven to have antimicrobial properties and are used as coating of these facemasks to increase the effectivity of the textile fibres. In the case of silver nanoparticles, we have estimated that in a real scenario the systemic (internal) exposure derived from wearing these silver nanoparticle facemasks would be between 7.0 × 10-5 and 2.8 × 10-4 mg/kg bw/day. In addition, we estimated conservative systemic no effect levels between 0.075 and 0.01 mg/kg bw/day. Therefore, we estimate that the chronic exposure to silver nanoparticles derived form facemasks wearing is safe. In the case of graphene, we detected important gaps in the database, especially regarding toxicokinetics, which prevents the derivation of a systemic no effect level. Nevertheless, the qualitative approach suggests that the risk of dermal repeated exposure to graphene is very low, or even negligible. We estimated that for both nanomaterials, the risk of skin sensitisation and genotoxicity is also negligible.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/adverse effects , COVID-19/prevention & control , Graphite/adverse effects , Masks/adverse effects , Metal Nanoparticles/adverse effects , Silver/adverse effects , Animals , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Masks/virology , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Risk Assessment , SARS-CoV-2
14.
PLoS One ; 16(9): e0258104, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1443857

ABSTRACT

Due to the currently ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), it is strongly recommended to wear facemasks to minimize transmission risk. Wearing a facemask may have the potential to increase dyspnea and worsen cardiopulmonary parameters during exercise; however, research-based evidence is lacking. We investigated the hypothesis that wearing facemasks affects the sensation of dyspnea, pulse rate, and percutaneous arterial oxygen saturation during exercise. Healthy adults (15 men, 9 women) underwent a progressive treadmill test under 3 conditions in randomized order: wearing a surgical facemask, cloth facemask, or no facemask. Experiment was carried out once daily under each condition, for a total of 3 days. Each subject first sat on a chair for 30 minutes, then walked on a treadmill according to a Bruce protocol that was modified by us. The experiment was discontinued when the subject's pulse rate exceeded 174 beats/min. After discontinuation, the subject immediately sat on a chair and was allowed to rest for 10 minutes. Subjects were required to rate their levels of dyspnea perception on a numerical scale. Pulse rate and percutaneous arterial oxygen saturation were continuously monitored with a pulse oximeter. These parameters were recorded in each trial every 3 minutes after the start of the exercise; the point of discontinuation; and 5 and 10 minutes after discontinuation. The following findings were obtained. Wearing a facemask does not worsen dyspnea during light to moderate exercise but worsens dyspnea during vigorous exercise. Wearing a cloth facemask increases dyspnea more than wearing a surgical facemask during exercise and increases pulse rate during vigorous exercise, but it does not increase pulse rate during less vigorous exercise. Wearing a surgical facemask does not increase pulse rate at any load level. Lastly, wearing a facemask does not affect percutaneous arterial oxygen saturation during exercise at any load level regardless of facemask type.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Dyspnea/etiology , Exercise Tolerance , Heart Rate , Masks , Adult , Exercise , Exercise Test , Female , Healthy Volunteers , Humans , Male , Masks/adverse effects , Young Adult
15.
Pak J Biol Sci ; 24(9): 920-927, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1431004

ABSTRACT

<b>Background and Objective:</b> COVID-19 is a fast-spreading worldwide pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2. The World Health Organization recommended wearing face masks. Masks have become an urgent necessity throughout the pandemic, the study's goal was to track the impact of wearing masks on immunological responses. <b>Materials and Methods:</b> This study was conducted on 40 healthy people who were working in health care at Nineveh Governorate Hospitals from September-December, 2020. They wore face masks at work for more than 8 months for an average of 6 hrs a day. The control sample included 40 healthy individuals, who wore masks for very short periods. All samples underwent immunological and physiological tests to research the effects of wearing masks for extended periods within these parameters. <b>Results:</b> The results showed a significant decrease in total White Blood Count and the absolute number of neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes and phagocytic activity. However, there was a significant increase in the absolute number of eosinophils in participants compared with the control. The results also suggested there were no significant differences in IgE, haemoglobin concentration and blood O<sub>2 </sub>saturation in participants who wore masks for more than 6 hrs compared to the control group. The results showed a significant increase in pulse rate in participants who wore masks for more than 6 hrs compared to the control group. The results also showed a strong correlation coefficient between the time of wearing masks and some immunological, haematological parameters. <b>Conclusion:</b> Wearing masks for long periods alters immunological parameters that initiate the immune response, making the body weaker in its resistance to infectious agents.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Inhalation Exposure/prevention & control , Leukocytes/immunology , Masks , Occupational Exposure/prevention & control , Phagocytes/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Adult , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/transmission , Case-Control Studies , Female , Heart Rate , Hemoglobins/metabolism , Humans , Immunoglobulin E/blood , Inhalation Exposure/adverse effects , Leukocyte Count , Male , Masks/adverse effects , Middle Aged , Occupational Exposure/adverse effects , Occupational Health , Oxygen/blood , Personnel, Hospital , Phagocytosis , Time Factors
16.
Acta Otolaryngol ; 141(10): 941-947, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1406423

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The Covid-19 pandemics has obliged to using different types of personal protective devices (PPD) for a prolonged time of the day, especially in the Health Centers, with preference of surgical masks (SM) during the first pandemic waves. AIMS/OBJECTIVES: This study was designed to assess the eventual changes of the nasal respiratory condition during continuous SM wearing. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Fourteen healthcare professionals filled a visual analogue scale (VAS) questionnaire for the detection of eventual nasal breathing impairment or symptoms. Nasal resistance and flow values were obtained via the active anterior rhinomanometry (AAR) that was performed under the basal condition, as well as immediately after wearing the surgical mask (SM) and 3 h after its continuous use. RESULTS: The increase of inspiratory resistance was significantly correlated to the reduction of the maximum flux, when comparing SM parameters to the basal ones (r = -0.70, p < .05). At VAS evaluation, SM wearing showed to induce itching in 70% of the subjects, nasal dryness in 55%, nasal blockage in 50%, headache in 39%, watery nasal discharge in 20% and sneezing in 18%. CONCLUSIONS AND SIGNIFICANCE: The SMs do not induce evident physiological variations of the nasal function due to a compensatory respiratory mechanism that, despite a progressive increase of nasal resistances, is not inducing significant changes of the nasal fluxes.


Subject(s)
Masks/adverse effects , Adult , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Female , Headache/etiology , Humans , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Male , Manometry , Medical Staff, Hospital , Middle Aged , Nasal Obstruction/etiology , Nursing Staff, Hospital , Pandemics , Pruritus/etiology , Rhinorrhea/etiology , Sneezing , Visual Analog Scale
17.
Pan Afr Med J ; 39: 203, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1404090

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: the COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated the prolonged use of facemasks by healthcare workers. Facemask non-compliance has been largely blamed on discomfort associated with the mask, and apprehension regarding potential health hazards such as asphyxia from mask usage. We sought to evaluate the impact of different respiratory mask types on the comfort of healthcare workers and their arterial oxygen saturation during periods of active clinical duty. METHODS: we conducted a cross-sectional study on healthcare workers donning different types of facemasks in the normal course of duty. Objective non-invasive determination of arterial oxygen saturation of each participant was done using a portable pulse oximeter. Subjective self-assessment of global discomfort was scored by means of a 11-point numerical scale from 0 (no discomfort) to 10 (worst discomfort imaginable). The user's perceived elements of the discomfort were also evaluated. A statistical significance was accepted when P <0.05. RESULTS: seventy-six healthcare workers completed the study, and wore the masks for periods ranging from 68-480 minutes. The discomfort experienced with the use of the N95 mask; 4.3 (2.0) was greater than the surgical mask; 2.7 (1.8); P=0.001. No significant change in arterial oxygen saturation was observed with the use of either of the mask types. The tight strapping of the N95 mask was perceived as a contributor to the discomfort experienced with mask usage; P=0.009. CONCLUSION: the N95 masks imposed greater discomfort than the surgical masks, but neither of the masks impacted on the arterial oxygen saturation of the healthcare workers.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Personnel/psychology , Masks/adverse effects , Oxygen/metabolism , Adult , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , N95 Respirators/adverse effects , Oximetry , Time Factors
19.
PLoS One ; 16(2): e0247414, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388900

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Facemasks are recommended to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2, but concern about inadequate gas exchange is an often cited reason for non-compliance. RESEARCH QUESTION: Among adult volunteers, do either cloth masks or surgical masks impair oxygenation or ventilation either at rest or during physical activity? STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: With IRB approval and informed consent, we measured heart rate (HR), transcutaneous carbon dioxide (CO2) tension and oxygen levels (SpO2) at the conclusion of six 10-minute phases: sitting quietly and walking briskly without a mask, sitting quietly and walking briskly while wearing a cloth mask, and sitting quietly and walking briskly while wearing a surgical mask. Brisk walking required at least a 10bpm increase in heart rate. Occurrences of hypoxemia (decrease in SpO2 of ≥3% from baseline to a value of ≤94%) and hypercarbia (increase in CO2 tension of ≥5 mmHg from baseline to a value of ≥46 mmHg) in individual subjects were collected. Wilcoxon signed-rank was used for pairwise comparisons among values for the whole cohort (e.g. walking without a mask versus walking with a cloth mask). RESULTS: Among 50 adult volunteers (median age 33 years; 32% with a co-morbidity), there were no episodes of hypoxemia or hypercarbia (0%; 95% confidence interval 0-1.9%). In paired comparisons, there were no statistically significant differences in either CO2 or SpO2 between baseline measurements without a mask and those while wearing either kind of mask mask, both at rest and after walking briskly for ten minutes. INTERPRETATION: The risk of pathologic gas exchange impairment with cloth masks and surgical masks is near-zero in the general adult population.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Masks , Oxygen/metabolism , Pulmonary Ventilation/physiology , Adult , COVID-19/psychology , COVID-19/transmission , Carbon Dioxide/metabolism , Exercise/physiology , Female , Heart Rate/physiology , Humans , Hypoxia/etiology , Hypoxia/metabolism , Male , Masks/adverse effects , N95 Respirators/adverse effects , Rest/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Walking/physiology
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