21.07.2020 | Insight

UK doctors dismiss claims that masks limit oxygen intake for respiratory patients

By Laura Marsh

Each month, CREATION.co’s respiratory tracking update brings you the latest insights into the online UK healthcare professional (HCP) conversation regarding respiratory disease. You can find the most up to date insights, and the archive, on our Respiratory Tracker landing page.

Discussions relating to COVID-19 continued to be a prominent part of the UK HCP online conversation in respiratory disease this month, making up around half the daily level of conversation, although the overall volume of conversation in respiratory disease has been decreasing each month since March.

On 27th June, we saw a significant spike in the COVID-19 related conversation when a post demonstrating how masks work against the spread of COVID-19 went viral, shared over 200K times on Twitter. The original author, US-based clinical microbiologist Rich Davis was shared by 196 UK HCPs and many thousands of others around the world.

During the month, there was a high level of engagement generally around the topic of wearing masks as protection against COVID-19 and the discussion was much wider than simply the post above. The terms ‘mask’, ‘Covid’ and ‘respiratory droplets’ are some of the most prominent in the conversation and therefore appear the largest in the word cloud below.

Many UK HCPs encouraged asthma and COPD sufferers in particular to wear masks, and tried to dispel the myth circulating on social media that wearing a mask reduces oxygen levels. This post from UK trauma anaesthetist Nick Crombie, in a thread aiming to relieve concerns about breathing difficulties when using a mask, was shared by 13 UK HCPs.

Other doctors, including UK emergency medicine doctor Mike Rosser, offer their own experience of wearing masks to counter the misinformation. In a post shared by 8 UK HCPs, he explains that after wearing a mask for 12 hour shifts, his oxygen levels were unchanging.

Each month, we track the HCP conversation relating to respiratory disease and this month we have seen UK HCPs using Twitter as a platform to dispel myths and provide accurate information about the use of masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

You can keep up to date with this and other pharmaceutical tracking updates, including drug approvals within the Tracking section of CREATION Knowledge, or sign up to receive our monthly eJournal with all of our latest HCP insights.




  • This article analysed the Twitter conversations of HCPs in the UK discussing respiratory disease and related terms between 21 June and 20 July 2020, using CREATION Pinpoint®.
  • Between 21 June and 20 July 2020, there were 4,203 UK HCP mentions of respiratory disease and related terms, from 2,283 unique UK HCP authors. 





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Meet the Author

Laura Marsh

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