Taking a walk to prove a point, Mayo Clinic Health System debunks mask claim

Despite the push from health experts to wear a mask to slow the spread of the coronavirus, there are still people who are hesitant or downright refuse. Part of the reason is social media posts claiming masks don’t allow oxygen flow.

That’s the sound of a pulse oximeter.

“What that does is tell us what percent of your red blood cells are saturated with oxygen.”

Andrew Jagim is the Director of Sports Medicine Research at Mayo Clinic Health System. He says typically a healthy adult should have a blood saturation reading anywhere from 95 to 100.

And with a mask on, he says those numbers shouldn’t change.

So we put it to the test. We had a Mayo Clinic employee walk on a treadmill with a mask on while hooked up to the pulse oximeter..

“Even while wearing a mask, it doesn’t seem to disrupt your body’s ability to breathe, get oxygen into the body,” said Jagim.

Madeline’s oxygen saturation readings bounced between 98-99, even when switching between a surgical mask and a cloth mask.

“There are a lot of concerns or fears that people may have about wearing a mask, especially as they’re starting to become mandated.. more at different businesses. A lot of people will claim that they can’t breathe, or they have health conditions, and while that certainly may be true for a small percentage of the population, most people shouldn’t have any problem breathing with a mask on,” said Jagim.

One of the most prominent claims is that masks cause hypoxia.. which is caused by breathing in more CO2 than oxygen.

However, Mayo Clinic Health System doctors have already debunked that..

“It’s the misinformation and misconception that gets spread and a lot of people use that sometimes as their defense as to why they don’t necessarily want to wear the mask,” said Jagim.

Jagim’s final advice; be a responsible member of the community and put on a mask.

Mayo Clinic Health System says to continue getting mask guidance from the C-D-C and the La Crosse County Health Department..