Ergonomics SA

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The effect of physical exertion on volunteers wearing self-contained breathing apparatus during a simulated rescue activity

Siyanda Mthombeni, Andrew Makkink, Christopher Stein


The effects of wearing a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) during a simulated rescue activity were studied in 18 volunteers. Most existing studies have used treadmills to create exertion as opposed to actual simulated activity. Each participant completed a simulated rescue exercise whilst wearing the SCBA. After a minimum period of two weeks, the same participants completed an identical simulated rescue event, this time without the SCBA. Physiological variables that were assessed included heart rate, oxygen saturation (SpO<sub>2</sub>), tympanic membrane temperature and blood lactate levels as well as time taken to complete the event and opinions of the use of the SCBA. There were no significant differences in the physiological variables measured between control and experimental groups. This is similar to some treadmill studies.

Keywords: Self-contained breathing apparatus; physiological effects; simulated rescue activity; personal protective equipment; tympanic temperature
AJOL African Journals Online