Pulmonary and heart rate responses to wearing N95 filtering facepiece respirators. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Pulmonary and heart rate responses to wearing N95 filtering facepiece respirators.
Am J Infect Control. 2013 Jan ;41(1):24-7. Epub 2012 Sep 1. PMID: 22944510
BACKGROUND: Filtering facepiece respirators are the most common respirator worn by US health care and industrial workers, yet little is known on the physiologic impact of wearing this protective equipment.
METHODS: Twenty young, healthy subjects exercised on a treadmill at a low-moderate (5.6 km/h) work rate while wearing 4 different models of N95 filtering facepiece respirators for 1 hour each, 2 models of which were equipped with exhalation valves, while being monitored for physiologic variables.
RESULTS: Compared with controls, respirator use was associated with mean 1 hour increases in heart rate (range, 5.7-10.6 beats per minute, P<.001), respiratory rate (range, 1.4-2.4 breaths per minute, P<.05), and transcutaneous carbon dioxide (range, 1.7-3.0 mm Hg, P<.001). No significant differences in oxygen saturation between controls and respirators were noted (P>.05).
CONCLUSION: The pulmonary and heart rate responses to wearing a filtering facepiece respirator for 1 hour at a low-moderate work rate are relatively small and should generally be well tolerated by healthy persons.