Surgical Masks Increase Pulse, Lower Oxygen Saturation From Rebreathing CO2

tankasnowgod

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The idea came up in another thread to use surgical masks to help re-breathe CO2. Since surgical masks are cheap, and can be used for other things, I decided to buy a pack. I began to wonder if there were any studies done on surgical masks and CO2.

I happened to find this one-

Preliminary report on surgical mask induced deoxygenation during major surgery


Basically, they looked at doctors performing surgery, and tested their oxygen saturation and pulse rates before and after doing surgery. Since masks are currently required when performing surgery, they used a unmasked control in similar rooms.

The link is to the full text, but basically, oxygen saturation went down about 1%, while pulse increased about 5-10 BPM after surgery.

From the discussion section-

Although decrease in both mental - physical performance and accuracy may sometimes be overcome by the motivation of the surgeon, increased fatigue is common in lengthy operations. The increased endogenous heat production of the surgeon, as well as many aspects of the operating room situation -even the close environment beneath the surgical mask- may also negatively affect the working condition of the surgeon.

Surgical masks may impose some measurable airway resistance, but it seems doubtful if this significantly increases the process of breathing. Although it might have appeared to be likely that hypoxemia results from the increased CO2 content of the inspired air due to the exhaled CO2 getting trapped beneath the surgical face mask; there has been no controlled study concerning with the effect of surgical masks on the level of blood oxygenation.

In this study we have measured the oxygen saturation of arterial pulsations (SpO2 ) by a pulse oximeter and found a statistically significant decrease in the blood O2 saturation level of the surgeons post operationally, which is not due to prolonged standing or stress.


The study paints the increased CO2 as negative, and may be during a task like surgery that is demanding, but I see this as very good news for those of use that want a cheap, easy, and safe way to increase CO2.

Personally, I've worn the mask during the day for about 40 minutes two days now. The first day, I noticed a burst of energy about 10 minutes after removing the mask. Today, my fingers got noticeably warmer when I had the mask on. I also wore it to bed last night. Wasn't that odd, not uncomfortable at all, although didn't notice anything different in the morning.

I find this way easier (and so far, more effective) than bag breathing.
 

schultz

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Interesting. I wear a catridge respirator sometimes when I work, I wonder if it would be similar.
 

yerrag

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The idea came up in another thread to use surgical masks to help re-breathe CO2. Since surgical masks are cheap, and can be used for other things, I decided to buy a pack. I began to wonder if there were any studies done on surgical masks and CO2.

I happened to find this one-

Preliminary report on surgical mask induced deoxygenation during major surgery


Basically, they looked at doctors performing surgery, and tested their oxygen saturation and pulse rates before and after doing surgery. Since masks are currently required when performing surgery, they used a unmasked control in similar rooms.

The link is to the full text, but basically, oxygen saturation went down about 1%, while pulse increased about 5-10 BPM after surgery.

From the discussion section-

Although decrease in both mental - physical performance and accuracy may sometimes be overcome by the motivation of the surgeon, increased fatigue is common in lengthy operations. The increased endogenous heat production of the surgeon, as well as many aspects of the operating room situation -even the close environment beneath the surgical mask- may also negatively affect the working condition of the surgeon.

Surgical masks may impose some measurable airway resistance, but it seems doubtful if this significantly increases the process of breathing. Although it might have appeared to be likely that hypoxemia results from the increased CO2 content of the inspired air due to the exhaled CO2 getting trapped beneath the surgical face mask; there has been no controlled study concerning with the effect of surgical masks on the level of blood oxygenation.

In this study we have measured the oxygen saturation of arterial pulsations (SpO2 ) by a pulse oximeter and found a statistically significant decrease in the blood O2 saturation level of the surgeons post operationally, which is not due to prolonged standing or stress.


The study paints the increased CO2 as negative, and may be during a task like surgery that is demanding, but I see this as very good news for those of use that want a cheap, easy, and safe way to increase CO2.

Personally, I've worn the mask during the day for about 40 minutes two days now. The first day, I noticed a burst of energy about 10 minutes after removing the mask. Today, my fingers got noticeably warmer when I had the mask on. I also wore it to bed last night. Wasn't that odd, not uncomfortable at all, although didn't notice anything different in the morning.

I find this way easier (and so far, more effective) than bag breathing.

Nice find tankasnowgod! I thought the data was useful, but the conclusion mainstream and misplaced. That the SpO2 level went down doesn't indicate deoxygenation of the tissues. It meant the body was releasing more oxygen to the tissues. The body was getting warmer from the increased metabolism with the increased use of oxygen by the cells.

At the point where blood takes up oxygen, in the lungs, SpO2 would be highest. But we measure SpO2 at the fingertips. From the lungs to the heart to the fingertips, the oxygen in the blood is being released along the way, such that when it reaches the fingertips, the oxygen content would be much lower if much more oxygen were being released than before.

The mainstream idea that CO2 is bad once again bears its mark on twisting the interpretation of data to suit its narrative. I guess if the study said otherwise the author would lose his funding?
 
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tankasnowgod

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So that's why Asians wear face masks when they are sick...

Apparently, there are many reasons. Germs are a big one, apparently they also work great at keeping you warm. Face is a bit obvious, but I've seen a couple random mentions that the masks help keep your entire body warm. This study would seem to back that up a bit.

Apparently, it can also be a fashion thing. I saw this video where the girl (I guess her name is Steph) talks about how she thought shy guys that wear masks and got good grades in high school were really attractive. At that point, I was like "DAMMIT! Why didn't I go to high school in Japan?"
 

Tarmander

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Apparently, there are many reasons. Germs are a big one, apparently they also work great at keeping you warm. Face is a bit obvious, but I've seen a couple random mentions that the masks help keep your entire body warm. This study would seem to back that up a bit.

Apparently, it can also be a fashion thing. I saw this video where the girl (I guess her name is Steph) talks about how she thought shy guys that wear masks and got good grades in high school were really attractive. At that point, I was like "DAMMIT! Why didn't I go to high school in Japan?"
Trust me, youre happy you did not go to school in Japan lol
 

CoolTweetPete

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I noticed this was a viable alternative to bag breathing while I was spray painting some old dumb bells. Works the same it seems and you don't have to hold the bag in place lol.
 

tankasnowgod

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I noticed this was a viable alternative to bag breathing while I was spray painting some old dumb bells. Works the same it seems and you don't have to hold the bag in place lol.

It's funny, in only two days experimenting with this mask, I've seen more noticeable results than I ever did with bag breathing.
 

milk_lover

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It's very common here in Korea. They say it's for germs and for yellow dust from China between March and June.
 

johnsmith

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How long do you all wear these surgical masks for? Mine just came in the mail. Anyone every try one of those chin straps off ebay to keep your mouth shut at night? I've noticed a big difference using it.
 

cdan1

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@tankasnowgod
Are you speaking of a dust mask or a surgical mask (the cloth like ones)?
I would think a dust mask would work better because air cant get out and it has more dead space.
 

Herbie

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I see Asians at the airport here in Australia where the air if fresh off the ocean from Antarctica wearing the mask still, I thought that it might become a habit to wear it even if the air is clean.

Maybe getting the co2 creates a habit with the mask, a comfort, like smoking.
 

cdg

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I see Asians at the airport here in Australia where the air if fresh off the ocean from Antarctica wearing the mask still, I thought that it might become a habit to wear it even if the air is clean.

Maybe getting the co2 creates a habit with the mask, a comfort, like smoking.

Many Asians wear these so they don't tanned. They all want to be fair...
 

tankasnowgod

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How long do you all wear these surgical masks for? Mine just came in the mail. Anyone every try one of those chin straps off ebay to keep your mouth shut at night? I've noticed a big difference using it.

I'll wear them for 20, 40 minutes to an hour. I don't wear them in bed anymore, only waking hours.
 

cdan1

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@tankasnowgod
Oh ok I was thinking dust may work better.
I sent peat an email asking so I'll let everyone know the response.
There are also study on dust asks and respirators showing co2 increase. These studies were for construction purposes
 
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