viernes, 23 de junio de 2017

NIOSH Research Rounds - June 2017

NIOSH Research Rounds - June 2017


In This Issue

Volume 2, Number 12 (June 2017)

Inside NIOSH:
Preventing Heat Stress While Wearing Personal Protective Equipment

During severe disease outbreaks such as the 2014 Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa, wearing special gear can protect healthcare workers from exposure. This personal protective equipment covers the face and body to provide a physical barrier against germs. In addition, a respirator prevents the inhalation of airborne germs. Since many types of personal protective equipment worn during the Ebola response are made of heavy, fluid-resistant material, which can prevent sweat from evaporating and cooling the body, heat stress is a concern in hot weather.

Personal Protective Equipment Does Not Take the Heat Equally

After comparing three commonly used ensembles, NIOSH investigators found that different types of personal protective equipment were linked to increases in heart rate and body temperature during exertion.

Cooling Vests Linked to Fewer Signs of  Heat Stress

Study participants wearing special vests fitted with ice packs, phase-change materials, or water hoses under personal protective equipment had fewer signs of heat stress than participants who did not wear the cooling devices, according to a related study. These results highlight the importance of cooling vests for healthcare workers wearing personal protective equipment in hot, humid environments.

Ambulance Crash Tests Promote Prevention through Design

Quickly maneuvering to the side of the road to allow a lights-flashing, sirens-blaring ambulance to pass, we may wonder about the medical emergency unfolding inside the racing vehicle. “That could be me or one of my family members,” we may think, a bit nervously, glad that the patient in the ambulance is receiving medical attention. What we may not consider as we sit safely in our cars is that medical care occurring while the ambulance is moving could place both the patient and the emergency medical services (EMS) workers at additional risk in the event of a crash.

Respiratory Symptoms and Abnormal Lung Function High Among Latino Horse Farmworkers

Dust in and around horse and other livestock barns often contains substances such as animal dander, bacteria, sawdust,  and particles of metal and sand that can harm the lungs if accidentally inhaled. Dust masks such as the NIOSH-approved N95 can help reduce the risk, but workers do not always use them. To understand and prevent the risk among Latino horse farm-workers, the study recruited 80 (mostly male), Mexican, adult horse farm-workers. Between July and September 2014, participants completed 40-item questionnaires, in either English or Spanish, and underwent lung-function testing (spirometry). As part of the study, investigators also distributed educational health and safety materials to horse farm-workers, owners, and managers.

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