Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of protective face mask usage during the postoperative period on carbon dioxide retention in children during the COVID-19 pandemic .
Design: This study was designed as a prospective, randomized trial including 40 ASA I–II patients aged 3–10 years who were scheduled for elective surgery .
Methods: Patients were randomly allocated to two groups . The first group (Group 1) received O2 treatment over the protective face mask . In the second group (Group 2), the protective face mask was worn over the O2 delivery system . Heart rate (HR), oxygen saturation (SPO2) level, end-tidal carbon dioxide (EtCO2) level, and respiratory rate (RR) were measured using a patient monitor at 0 , 5 , 10 , 15 , 30, and 45 minutes and recorded . The primary outcome of the study was the determination of the EtCO2 levels, which were used to assess the safety of the mask in terms of potential carbon dioxide retention . Findings: None of the participants ’ SPO2 levels fell below 92% while wearing masks . There was no statistically significant difference between the groups in terms of EtCO2, HR, SPO2, and RR (p> 0.05).
Conclusions: During the COVID-19 pandemic, protective surgical face masks can be used safely in the postoperative period for pediatric patients aged 3–10 years.