Effect of Prolonged Use of Face Masks in Dental Professionals during COVID-19
Keywords:Face mask, Covid-19, Personal protective equipments, Dental health care workers
Objective: The study was undertaken to understand the long-term effect of using non-pharmaceutical intervention like face mask for protection against COVID-19. The dental professionals are at high risk as mostly all procedures generate aerosols and thus they were using the face masks with PPE for long hours. This study evaluated the various symptoms which were experienced by the professionals when the masks were worn for <4 h, 4 h, and >4 h. Methods: A cross-sectional and observational study was carried out online by circulating a Google form among dental professionals practicing in Delhi NCR Region. The form was circulated using social platform. The survey included MCQ questions enquiring about the symptoms that were experienced by professionals after using face masks. The data were assembled and analyzed using SPSS (Version 16, IBM). Results: The Google form was distributed to 150 professionals and we received responses from 99. Our study showed that the symptoms were more pronounced when the mask was worn for 4 h or >4 h. The symptoms such as sweating around mask, sore throat, difficulty in breathing, feeling of nasal discomfort, and other symptoms were seen around in 11.1% cases when worn <4 h whereas other symptoms were not presented at all during this time period. Conclusion: This study showed that whenever face masks were worn for 4 or more h, it leads to significant discomfort. This would, in turn, affect the efficiency of the face mask, breach the PPE protocol, and hamper the quality of work.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Singh Neelam, Gupta Natasha, Apoorva Rana, Shradha Singh
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