Infectious Disease

Masking doesn’t have an effect on oxygen saturation in sufferers with bronchial asthma

February 25, 2021

1 min read

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Healio Primary Care was unable to confirm the relevant financial statements from Baptist at the time of publication.

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Wearing a mask does not affect oxygen saturation in patients with or without asthma. This is evident from research presented at this year’s American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology annual virtual meeting.

“These data confirm that wearing a mask, whether it’s a surgical mask, a cloth mask or an N95, is perfectly safe.” Alan P. Baptist, MD, MPH, FAAAAI, A press release said: Assistant Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, Health Behavior, and Health Education at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. “This applies to everyone, regardless of whether they have a diagnosis of asthma or not.”

Reference: Freeh G, et al.

Baptist and colleagues asked both adult and pediatric patients treated at Michigan Medicine Allergy Clinic September 10, 2020 through October 23, 2020 to complete a survey that included information about demographics, asthma diagnosis, perceived asthma control, and the type of masks that they wore.

The researchers performed pulse oximetry on patients while they were wearing masks, and the patients reported how long they used the masks before the measurement was taken.

A total of 223 patients who had completed the survey and oxygen saturation were included in the analyzes. Of these patients, 46% had asthma and 27% were 19 years of age or younger.

Baptist and colleagues found that oxygen saturation in people with and without asthma ranged from 93% to 100% – with a mean of 98%.

The researchers did not identify a significant difference in oxygen saturation after adjusting for gender, race, mask type, and duration of mask use.

They also found that in patients reporting on their asthma control, the mean oxygen saturation levels in patients with well-controlled asthma (mean = 98%), in patients with somewhat controlled asthma (mean = 98%), and in patients with well-controlled asthma Uncontrolled asthma was similar (mean = 96.5%).

“Wearing a mask is an essential step we can all take to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” said Baptist. “I hope this latest data reassures people who fear that wearing a mask could be dangerous, especially for those with asthma.”

References:

AAAAI. Wearing a mask does not affect oxygen saturation in patients with or without asthma. https://www.aaaai.org/about-aaaai/newsroom/news-releases/mask. Accessed February 23, 2021.

Freeh G, et al. Summary L18. Presented at: AAAAI Annual Meeting; February 26th – March 1st, 2021. (Virtual).

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Annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology

Annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology

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