Preliminary report on surgical mask induced deoxygenation during major surgery
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Objectives. This study was undertaken to evaluate whether the surgeons' oxygen saturation of hemoglobin was affected by the surgical mask or not during major operations. Methods. Repeated measures, longitudinal and prospective observational study was performed on 53 surgeons using a pulse oximeter pre and postoperatively. Results. Our study revealed a decrease in the oxygen saturation of arterial pulsations (SpO2) and a slight increase in pulse rates compared to preoperative values in all surgeon groups. The decrease was more prominent in the surgeons aged over 35. Conclusions. Considering our findings, pulse rates of the surgeon's increase and SpO2 decrease after the first hour. This early change in SpO2 may be either due to the facial mask or the operational stress. Since a very small decrease in saturation at this level, reflects a large decrease in PaO2, our findings may have a clinical value for the health workers and the surgeons.