Healthcare employees’ working conditions have been primarily impacted by the COVID epidemic, which has resulted in significant fatality rates around the globe. When using surgical masks, healthcare professionals experience metabolic and respiratory alterations. For a study, researchers sought to discover the metabolic and respiratory issues that medical staff who wear surgical masks encounter and to develop ways to reduce such issues.

In the emergency department, between June 2020 and July 2020, the study was done on emergency service personnel who wore surgical masks for at least 8 hours. In addition, the study’s medical participants’ vital signs were assessed, and venous blood gas samples were obtained from them.

The study involved 60 medical professionals in all, with a mean age of 28.20±6.30 years. With 30 (50.0%) men and 30 (50.0%) women, the gender distribution in the study was balanced. No statistically significant changes (P > 0.05) were discovered between the first and last vital signs (blood pressure, pulse, and saturation) of the study’s health workers. Although there was no statistically significant change in the Na, Chlorine, or Ca values of the metabolic markers (P > 0.05), the initial measures of K (0.017) and Lactate (0.037) levels were found to be greater than the last measurements (P > 0.05). The respiratory parameters pH (0.002), pCO2 (0.028), sO2 (0.045), and pO2 (0.048) were all lower than they were at the end of the experiment (P > 0.05). The value of pCO2 that was measured initially (0.028) was found to be greater than the value recorded last (P > 0.05).

Using surgical masks on a regular and ongoing basis had no negative effects on metabolism or breathing.

Reference: sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0735675722006544