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Real Work Experiences, Practices and Adverse Events Associated with Long Term Usage of N95 Respirators during the COVID-19 Pandemic – A Cross-sectional Survey Amongst Indian Physicians

Publication Type : Journal Article

Publisher : International Journal of Safety and Public Health

Source : International Journal of Safety and Public Health, Vol. 12, No. 3 (2022).

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Campus : Kochi

School : School of Medicine

Department : General Medicine

Year : 2022

Abstract : Introduction: Doctors are at increased risk of exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and the use of N95 respirators has emerged as a critical preventive measure. We studied the real-world experiences, practices, and adverse effects of N95 respirator usage amongst Indian physicians. Methods: We conducted an analytical, cross-sectional online survey between November 2020 and January 2021. Real-world usage characteristics of N-95 respirators were collected via a pre-validated questionnaire and compared amongst different sub-cohorts. Results: A total of 453 responses from physicians were analyzed. The most important adjunct to the N95 respirator perceived by the respondents was the full-face shield (81.9%). Most doctors had to purchase extra masks per month (median = 5 ± 8), which was more among the medical specialties (p = 0.006). The highest mean VAS scores for adverse events reported were for breathing on exertion (6.62 ± 2.25) and ear pain (6.34 ± 2.69). VAS ear pain was higher in ages < 40 and doctors working in the public sector (p = 0.017 and p = 0.019 respectively). Conclusion: Despite many inadequacies regarding proper mask removal, doffing techniques, and multiple reported prolonged mask usage-related adverse effects, there is generally good adherence to protocols and good practices of mask usage amongst physicians in the hospital setting.

Cite this Research Publication : Dr. Renoy Henry, Dr. Krishnamoorthy S., Dr. Manu, "Real work experiences, practices and adverse events associated with long term usage of N95 respirators during the COVID-19 pandemic – A cross-sectional survey amongst Indian physicians," International Journal of Safety and Public Health, Vol. 12, No. 3 (2022).

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