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Headaches and the N95 face-mask amongst healthcare providers

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Headaches and the N95 face-mask amongst healthcare providers

E C H Lim 1R C S SeetK-H LeeE P V Wilder-SmithB Y S ChuahB K C OngAffiliations expand

Free PMC article

Abstract

Background: During the 2003 severe acute respiratory distress syndrome epidemic, healthcare workers mandatorily wore the protective N95 face-mask.

Methods: We administered a survey to healthcare workers to determine risk factors associated with development of headaches (frequency, headache subtypes and duration of face-mask wear) and the impact of headaches (sick days, headache frequency and use of abortive/preventive headache medications).

Results: In the survey, 212 (47 male, 165 female) healthcare workers of mean age 31 years (range, 21-58) participated. Of the 79 (37.3%) respondents who reported face-mask-associated headaches, 26 (32.9%) reported headache frequency exceeding six times per month. Six (7.6%) had taken sick leave from March 2003 to June 2004 (mean 2 days; range 1-4 days) and 47 (59.5%) required use of abortive analgesics because of headache. Four (2.1%) took preventive medications for headaches during this period. Multivariate logistic regression showed that pre-existing headaches [P = 0.041, OR = 1.97 (95% CI 1.03-3.77)] and continuous use of the N95 face-mask exceeding 4 h [P = 0.053, OR = 1.85 (95% CI 0.99-3.43)] were associated with development of headaches.

Conclusions: Healthcare providers may develop headaches following the use of the N95 face-mask. Shorter duration of face-mask wear may reduce the frequency and severity of these headaches.

Acta Neurol Scand

. 2006 Mar;113(3):199-202. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0404.2005.00560.x.

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Ralph Turchiano

I have a strong affinity for the sciences which led me to create my sites. My compulsion for the past decade has been reviewing literally every peer-reviewed research article. Which can easily be validated by following my posts. To me, science is where the real news is, as it will mold our destiny beyond that of politics or economics. 😉 Please feel free to e-mail: 161803p314159@gmail.com
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