8 months ago
One Call Partners with PN Medical to Prevent Workplace Respiratory Complications Associated with Mask Wearing
Preliminary investigation reveals a post-COVID workforce may encounter negative side effects
One Call, the nation’s leader in specialty network management services for the workers’ compensation industry, and PN Medical, an established respiratory health education and solutions company, today announced a partnership to bring proper face mask protocols and education to the workers’ compensation industry.
Since the onset of COVID-19, PN Medical has been investigating the underlying effects of mask wearing. With many employees now required to wear a mask for 8-10 hours a day, the company began to look at how this could affect long-term health. Improper breathing while wearing surgical or cloth masks has been shown to create anxiety, headaches, increased heart rate, dizziness and fatigue.
“We are not condemning masks,” said Mark A. Carbone, CEO for PN Medical. “We realize they are a necessary tool given the current environment we live in. That said, it’s critical to educate people on how to breathe effectively while wearing them.”
A member of One Call’s durable medical equipment/complex care network, PN Medical has been an innovative partner for more than three years, providing education and tools for workers suffering from respiratory-related injuries.
Now, with One Call’s sights set on providing comprehensive safety, injury prevention and wellness solutions for a changing workforce, PN Medical’s partnership is critical.
“These are real health concerns that could lead to an increase in workers’ compensation claims,” stated Will Smith, Chief Commercial Officer for One Call, in response to PN Medical’s findings. “The good news is, with the proper breathing strategies, they’re all completely avoidable. We’re making it our mission to spread this education within our corner of the healthcare industry.”
PN Medical’s investigation culminated with the development of four suggested breathing protocols while wearing a mask:
- Perform five quality breaths* prior to putting on a mask, immediately after putting it on, and when it is removed to prevent being locked into a dysfunctional breathing pattern.
*A quality breath is four seconds of breathing in through the nose, six seconds of exhaling through the mouth and pausing two seconds before repeating.
- Take longer, slower breaths while wearing a mask.
- If you must wear a mask for an extended period, take regular breathing breaks, removing the mask when safe and practicing the five quality breaths protocol above.
- Conduct Respiratory Muscle Training (RMT)* for five minutes in the morning and five minutes in the evening using a clinically proven device.
*RMT is the method where both inhaling and exhaling are trained under resistance to improve respiratory muscle strength.
These tips, as well as the complete investigative data, a demonstration video and downloadable workplace posters can be found at www.pnmedical.com/facemasks.
“We’re grateful for our relationship with One Call, a company who has always proven to be forward-thinking,” said Carbone. “It’s this mindset that will prevent injuries in employees who are simply trying to keep themselves safe. It’s evident that One Call truly cares about the health and wellness of the individuals they’re serving.”
In partnership with Mayo Clinic, PN Medical will be conducting a formal research study to better understand the potential effects of wearing a mask. Once available, One Call will utilize that information to help clients and their employers further prevent employee injury.