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The effect of hyperoxia on submaximal exercise with the self-contained breathing apparatus

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The effects of hyperoxia on submaximal exercise with the self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) were studied in 25 males. Each participant completed a graded exercise test for the determination of ventilatory threshold (VT) and then a submaximal practice trial with a normoxic gas mixture. The normoxic (20.93 ± 0.22% O2; SUB21) and hyperoxic (40.18 ± 0.73% O2; SUB40) submaximal trials were then administered in a random order. All exercise tests were completed on separate days while wearing firefighting gear and the SCBA. Compared with SUB21, hyperoxia significantly reduced minute ventilation (VE), mask pressure (Pmask), heart rate, blood lactate concentration, perceived exertion, and perceived breathing distress. As expected, hemoglobin saturation remained higher (p < 0.05) during SUB40. The reductions in both VE and Pmask with hyperoxia imply a reduction in the work of breathing during exercise. Total gas consumption was 10.3 ± 8.1% lower during SUB40 when compared to SUB21, another finding that has significant practical implications for occupational safety.
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Keywords: BLOOD LACTATE; FIREFIGHTING; MASK PRESSURE; RESPIRATORY MUSCLE FATIGUE

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2H9, Canada 2: Faculty of Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2B7, Canada

Publication date: October 1, 2002

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