The results of a new analysis are not in agreement with the analysis linking with varying face mask to carbon dioxide poison by holding Co2. Wearing face mask as precautionary measure regarding COVID 19 has become a big political issue with some persons wrongly saying that wearing facemask may be putting people’s health at risk. The study published in the Annas of the American Thorasic Society indicates otherwise.
In “Effect of Face Masks on Gas Exchange in Healthy Persons and Patients with COPD,” Michael Campos, MD and co-authors assessed problems with gas exchange, that is, changes in oxygen level or carbon dioxide levels in healthy individuals as well as veterans with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD before and while using surgical masks. People with COPD, according to the ATS Patient Education Fact Sheet on the disease, “must work harder to breathe, which can lead to shortness of breath and/or feeling tired.”
“We show that the effects are minimal at most even in people with very severe lung impairment,” said Dr. Campos of the Miami Veterans Administration Medical Center and the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at the University of Miami.
As for the feeling of breathlessness that some healthy people may experience, Dr. Campos explained: “Dyspnea, the feeling of shortness of breath, felt with masks by some is not synonymous of alterations in gas exchange. It likely occurs from restriction of air flow with the mask in particular when higher ventilation is needed (on exertion).”
“We acknowledge that our observations may be limited by sample size, however our population offers a clear signal on the nil effect of surgical masks on relevant physiological changes in gas exchange under routine circumstances (prolonged rest, brief walking),” wrote the authors. “It is important to inform the public that the discomfort associated with mask use should not lead to unsubstantiated safety concerns as this may attenuate the application of a practice proven to improve public health.”
“The public should not believe that masks kill,” added Dr. Campos.