Pulmonary and heart rate responses to wearing N95 filtering facepiece respirators.
Kim-J-H; Benson-SM; Roberge-RJ
Am J Infect Control 2013 Jan; 41(1):24-27
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.
Face-shields; Filters; Respirators; Respiratory-protection; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Personal-protection; Personal-protective-equipment; Health-care-personnel; Industrial-environment; Physiological-effects; Humans; Men; Women; Heart-rate; Respiratory-rate; Pulmonary-function; Pulmonary-system;
Author Keywords: N95 filtering facepiece respirators; Pulmonary effects; Heart rate; Exhalation valve
Raymond J. Roberge, MD, MPH, National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory, 626 Cochrans Mill Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15236
Healthcare and Social Assistance
American Journal of Infection Control