The effects of powered air supply to the respiratory protective device on respiration parameters during rest and exercise

M. Arad*, R. Heruti, E. Shaham, J. Atsmon, Y. Epstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The common chemical warfare protective masks impose an excessive respiratory load on the wearer due to elevated breathing resistance and increased dead space. For patients with severe respiratory disease, the excessive respiratory effort may be intolerable. Besides, the substantial negative pressure created within the mask during inspiration may result in an inward leakage in individuals having difficulties with proper facial fitting of the mask. The purpose of the current investigation was to evaluate the effects of a blower, actively driving air, through the mask's filter, at a flow (mean±SD) of 42±2 L/min, on respiratory parameters during rest and moderate exercise. Ten healthy subjects of either sex participated in two experimental sessions, wearing the mask with and without the blower. Each session included 6 min of sitting at rest and 6 min of walking on a treadmill (3.2 mph, and 10 percent grade). In nine of the subjects, the active air supply produced a positive inspiratory pressure at rest (5±4 vs -24±9 mm H2O peak inspiratory pressure with and without the blower, respectively, p<0.0001). Inspiratory carbon dioxide concentration (FICO2) at rest was diminished (0.4±0.4 vs 1.3±0.7 percent with and without the blower, respectively; p<0.01) while FIO2 increased from 19.5±0.7 percent to 20.6±0.4 percent with the device (p<0.01). These changes were associated with a significant decrease in respiratory rate (15±2 vs 18±3 per minute, p<0.01). During exercise the blower barely decreased the negative inspiratory pressures, had no effect on other respiratory parameters measured, but significantly shortened the inspiratory/cycle-length time ratio (0.46±0.03 vs 0.53±0.03, p<0.005). The effects of active air supply were not different between male and female subjects. We conclude that the blower is expected to be a useful accessory to respiratory protective devices for patients with pulmonary disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1800-1804
Number of pages5
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'The effects of powered air supply to the respiratory protective device on respiration parameters during rest and exercise'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this