jtemplate.ru - free templates joomla


Masks Don’t Impact Oxygen or Carbon Dioxide Levels

Jan2021image008Though the rollout of a vaccine has begun, health experts are still in agreement that wearing a mask remains the best protection from COVID-19 exposure. That is especially true for those suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which is one of the underlying conditions that can increase the severity of a COVID-19 infection.

While some people with breathing and lung ailments are concerned about masks impacting their levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide, recent research proves otherwise. According to a study in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society that included 15 veterans suffering from COPD, wearing a mask has a negligible effect on oxygen and carbon dioxide levels.

Each participant in the study completed a six-minute walk while wearing a surgical face mask. Arterial blood analysis was performed before and immediately after the walk. Participants, while resting and wearing a mask, then had their blood-oxygen levels checked at five and 30 minutes. The result was there was no significant change in end-tidal carbon dioxide or oxygen saturation at rest.

 Subjects with severe COPD experienced decreased oxygenation as expected during the six-minute masked walk — but they didn’t exhibit any major changes in gas exchange, especially in carbon dioxide retention.

Dr. Michal Campos, the study’s lead author, said the results show that wearing a mask has little to no effect on gas exchange. If anyone wearing a mask is feeling a shortness of breath, it is likely occurring from the restriction of air flow with the mask, Campos said, and not from an increase of carbon dioxide. That can be fixed by wearing a mask with better ventilation.

These findings are not a surprise to Louis Irving, the Director of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

“The reality is that patients with COPD, particularly if they’ve got bad COPD, do find it more uncomfortable to wear a mask and that will be unrelated to oxygen and carbon dioxide levels,” he said.

Read the complete story in newsGPfor more on the study.

Make a Donation

Your contributions can help us reach our financial goals.

Public Interest Groups

Find out about other advocacy organizations and COPD advisory resources.

Travel Information

Be better prepared for any health emergencies on your next trip.