Problems with PPE
- 0Jan 24 by melc0305I am a student but I thought this would be the best forum for my question. Recently I was able to have my first surgical observation experience. I loved it! I found the experience fascinating and a great learning experience. The procedure itself did not bother me at all.
Unfortunately, I still had to step out for a few minutes because I simply could not breathe with the mask on. I felt like I could only breathe in hot, stale air. I started to get extremely warm and flushed and my ears started ringing and I felt faint.
Later, I had a patient on contact precautions and I had the same experience after putting on the PPE, esp the mask.
I guess my question is...Do you just get used to it? Or is there a "proper" way to breathe with mask on? I can't be fainting every time I need to wear a mask around a patient. Thanks!
- 0Jan 25 by ORoxyOQuote from aubgurlI can't chew gum while wearing a mask! I am always short of breath!It can take a while to get used to wearing and breathing in a mask. I chew gum and that helps.
Other than that... I think finding the right mask for you, and just getting used to it. At first I felt the same as you, but now I feel naked without it!
- 0Jan 26 by sugarik13Just try the many different ones around the OR. Once you find the style and material you like you will get used to the feeling of wearing it. Don't tie it too tightly around your head and neck either...after I tie mine I slip my fingers in the mask along my cheeks and make sure I can get one finger along each cheek. This provides a vent for fresh air to come in. You can also play around with how much you pinch in at the nose. Feeling faint can also be made worse by not eating or hydrating properly. Some people don't eat well the first few times in an OR because they don't know if the sights might make them feel sick, but there is a lot of the OR environment that add to it...strange smells (bovied), wearing a mask (too tight), temp of the room (peds very warm)...etc
I am so used to wearing a mask now I feel naked without it too. BUT, put a N95 TB mask on me and I feel like I am suffocating!