Utilization of respirators by naive subjects.
Bansal-S; Santiago-S; Liu-D; Yun-D; Ng-D; Liu-Y; Harber-P
Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2008 Apr; 177(Meeting Abstracts):A314
PURPOSE: To assess tolerance and proper utilization of respirators by naive users (e.g., for threat of epidemic or terrorist activity). METHODS: We studied 31 subjects (23 with mild respiratory impairment) in an exercise laboratory and 8 simulated "real-life" tasks including sedentary (S) and active (A) tasks. Measurements included ventilatory parameters via inductive plethysmograph, 12 Borg scale subjective ratings, and video recording of proper use. Subjects used half mask (HFM) and N95respirators. RESULTS: Tables illustrate results for a sedentary (e.g., sorting) and active (e.g., carry 8 pound load) tasks for HFM and N95. Mixed effect regression showed significant effects of both task and mask on comfort scales; HFM had more adverse impact than N95. Respiratory comfort scales were affected more than functional scales such as speech & hearing. Moderate exertion produced more discomfort than sedentary tasks. Minute ventilation corresponded to activity level and was not significantly affected by mask type. Although subjects received minimal instruction, video analysis showed they rarely attempted to dislodge the mask regardless of the task or mask type. CONCLUSIONS & IMPLICATIONS: Respirator use may be a feasible alternative to "shelter in place/don't work" responses to a perceived public health threat. Greater caution is needed for tasks requiring higher exertion levels or more complex masks. The overall level of protection of the public may be greater with an N95 than a HFM because of its better tolerance and greater ease of use.
Face-masks; Personal-protection; Personal-protective-equipment; Physical-stress; Protective-equipment; Protective-measures; Quantitative-analysis; Respirators; Respiratory-equipment; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Risk-analysis; Statistical-analysis; Task-performance
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
University of California, Los Angeles