COVID-19 Protection: N95 mask or respirators can be harmful to certain individuals with breathing problems and heart issues and also long term usage of these mask can also lead to serious medical conditions.
Unlike surgical mask, N95 mask or respirators an actually cut of oxygen supply by up to 20 percent coupled with the fact of additional carbon dioxide inhalation, often leading users to feel tired, nausea and can also lead to other more serious medical conditions.
Though these mask were designed to prevent inhalation of dangerous pathogens etc, they were not designed for long term usage and with the current COVID-19 crisis, many medical staff are using it for extended periods of time.
Paramedics, ICU staff, and anyone else currently working with patients in any capacity is probably wearing a N95 face mask for extended periods of time. N95 masks, which are easy to wear while providing substantial protection, can reduce the amount of oxygen reaching the lungs by up to 20%. This causes fatigue, may lower blood-oxygen saturation, and lead staff to work shorter hours or even force them to pull their masks off the face frequently to get breathers which can lead to contamination.
Past studies have already showed some of the possible effects from these mask. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/232738614_Evaluation_of_N95_Respirator_Use_with_a_Surgical_Mask_Cover_Effects_on_Breathing_Resistance_and_Inhaled_Carbon_Dioxide
N95 respirator can make it more difficult for the non-medical wearer to breathe due to carbon dioxide buildup, which reduces the intake of oxygen, increased breathing rates and heart rates.” The bottom line is, if you have lung disease or heart problems, ask your doctor.
Hopefully the problem with N95 mask could be solved soon as Stanford university researchers are developing a small portable oxygen concentrator that can be attached to existing N95 masks to help overcome the oxygen issues and help make breathing more comfortable and healthy. https://news.stanford.edu/2020/04/14/stanford-researchers-reengineer-covid-19-face-masks/
For more on COVID-19 protection, keep logging on to Thailand Medical News.
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