Background: There are very few studies in the literature evaluating the effects of mask use on physiological parameters.
Objectives: This study aims to examine physiological changes due to masks in healthcare workers who use respiratory masks for long hours in the emergency room during the pandemic process.
Methods: Cross-sectional and prospective study was carried out with healthcare professionals with an FFP2 type valve mask. The participants’ transcutaneous oxygen saturation, pulse, and respiratory rate were measured before wearing the respirator mask and at 30 and 60 minutes after wearing the mask.
Results: SPO2 values of the participants decreased gradually at 0th, 30th, and 60th minutes and respiratory rate increased gradually at 0th, 30th, and 60th minutes. The statistically significant difference arises from the 0 and 60 minutes values. Higher SPO2 values were found at 0 and 30 minutes in non-smokers. SPO2 value gradually decreased in non-smokers at 0, 30, and 60 minutes, but no significant decrease was observed in non-smokers. Pulse rate was found to be higher at 60th minute compared to 0th minute in non-smokers. No significant difference was found between smokers and non-smokers. The respiratory rate gradually increased in smokers at 0th, 30th, and 60th minutes. SPO2 values were lower at the 60th minute compared to the 0th minute in both women and men. There was no significant difference in pulse rates. Respiratory rate was found to be higher at 60th minute in men than at 0th minute.
Conclusion: It is recommended to follow the physiological parameters and to regulate the working conditions when necessary.