AFP Clinical Answers

Decompression Surgery, Fabric Masks, Heat Stroke, e-Cigarette Use


Am Fam Physician. 2020 Jun 1;101(11):648.

Is decompression surgery effective for shoulder impingement syndrome?

Decompression surgery is no more effective than exercise for shoulder impingement syndrome and has the same results as no surgery according to a multicenter randomized controlled trial in Finland. In patients with chronic subacromial shoulder pain and no history of trauma, do not routinely refer the patient for surgical decompression of the subacromial space.

Are fabric masks effective for the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019?

The National Academies of Sciences reviewed the evidence for the effectiveness of homemade fabric masks in preventing the spread of influenza and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SAR-CoV-2), in a report published on April 8, 2020. These viruses can be spread by visible and invisible droplets as small as 5 μm and even smaller bioaerosols. The size that is the most dangerous is unknown. Effectiveness depends on how the mask is made and how well it is made. The fit must be as tight as possible to prevent leakage. Patients should consider filtration efficiency and how much the mask impedes breathing (i.e., wearability). Seven studies evaluated the ability of the mask to protect the wearer or to prevent the spread of infection from a wearer. Performance ranged from very poor to reducing exposure to the wearer by approximately 60% depending on the material used. A study found a filtration of only 0.7% of 0.3 μm-sized particles for a four-layer woven handkerchief fabric, 35.3% for a five-layer woven brushed fabric, and 50% for a four-layer polyester-knitted cut-pile fabric.

A recent study of patients infected with SAR-CoV-2 found that surgical and cotton masks were not effective at blocking the virus from disseminating during coughing. On the other hand, two studies of cotton mask wearers suggest moderate protection against inhalation of infectious-sized particles. In the only randomized trial performed in health



Copyright © 2020 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
This content is owned by the AAFP. A person viewing it online may make one printout of the material and may use that printout only for his or her personal, non-commercial reference. This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP. Contact for copyright questions and/or permission requests.

Want to use this article elsewhere? Get Permissions

More in AFP

Editor's Collections

More in Pubmed


May 2022

Access the latest issue of American Family Physician

Read the Issue

Email Alerts

Don't miss a single issue. Sign up for the free AFP email table of contents.

Sign Up Now

Navigate this Article