Surgical mask and N95 in healthcare workers of Covid-19 departments: clinical and social aspects

Surgical mask and N95 in healthcare workers of Covid-19 departments: clinical and social aspects

Authors

  • Matteo Gelardi University of Foggia
  • Valeria Fiore University of Foggia
  • Rossana Giancaspro University of Foggia
  • Emanuel La Gatta University of Foggia
  • Francesca Fortunato University of Foggia
  • Onofrio Resta University of Bari Aldo Moro
  • Giovanna Elisiana Carpagnano University of Bari Aldo Moro
  • Carla Santomasi University of Bari Aldo Moro
  • Michela Dimitri University of Bari Aldo Moro
  • Maria Pia Foschino Barbaro University of Foggia
  • Donato Lacedonia University of Foggia
  • Giulia Scioscia University of Foggia
  • Laricchiuta Antonio University of Foggia
  • Michele Cassano University of Foggia

Keywords:

SARS-CoV-2; Surgical masks; N95; Life quality

Abstract

Introdution. In order to prevent or slow down the transmission of COVID-19, various public health measures have been introduced, including social distancing, environmental disinfection and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). In this perspective, the clinical practice of healthcare professionals has changed dramatically. As a matter of fact, the use of surgical masks and N95 has significantly worsened the job performance of workers who deal directly with COVID-19 disease.

Methods. The study included 116 health workers employed in the pulmonology, intensive care and infectious diseases departments of Bari and Foggia Hospital, directly involved in the healthcare of patients affected by COVID-19. Between May 1, 2020 and May 31, 2020, each participant completed an online questionnaire aimed to investigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on workers’ lifestyle changes and job performances. We compared the results based on the type of mask used by each participant (surgical mask vs N95).

Results. Although disturbances related to the use of the mask arose earlier in subjects who wore the N95 (p = 0.0094), healthcare workers that wore surgical masks reported a statistically higher average score for a greater number of disorders.

Conclusions. This is the first study that compares the effects of the two most used PPE on the quality of life of health workers and which highlights the greater discomfort caused by surgical masks. This result brings to light a serious social problem, being surgical masks widely used in everyday life by ordinary people and non-healthcare workers.

Author Biographies

Matteo Gelardi, University of Foggia

Department of Otolaryngology

Valeria Fiore, University of Foggia

Department of Otolaryngology

Rossana Giancaspro, University of Foggia

Department of Otolaryngology

Emanuel La Gatta, University of Foggia

Department of Otolaryngology

Francesca Fortunato, University of Foggia

Section of Hygiene, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences

Onofrio Resta, University of Bari Aldo Moro

Cardio Thoracic Department, Respiratory and Sleep Medicine Unit

Giovanna Elisiana Carpagnano, University of Bari Aldo Moro

Cardio Thoracic Department, Respiratory and Sleep Medicine Unit

Carla Santomasi, University of Bari Aldo Moro

Cardio Thoracic Department, Respiratory and Sleep Medicine Unit

Michela Dimitri, University of Bari Aldo Moro

Cardio Thoracic Department, Respiratory and Sleep Medicine Unit

Maria Pia Foschino Barbaro, University of Foggia

Institute of Respiratory Diseases, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences

Donato Lacedonia, University of Foggia

Institute of Respiratory Diseases, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences

Giulia Scioscia, University of Foggia

Institute of Respiratory Diseases, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences

Laricchiuta Antonio, University of Foggia

Institute of Respiratory Diseases, Department of Medical and Surgical Science

Michele Cassano, University of Foggia

Department of Otolaryngology

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Published

10-11-2020

Issue

Section

ORIGINAL INVESTIGATIONS/COMMENTARIES - SPECIAL COVID19

How to Cite

1.
Surgical mask and N95 in healthcare workers of Covid-19 departments: clinical and social aspects . Acta Biomed [Internet]. 2020 Nov. 10 [cited 2024 Jun. 16];91(4):e2020171. Available from: https://www.mattioli1885journals.com/index.php/actabiomedica/article/view/10660

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