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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 212-216

Effect of exposure to formaldehyde on the forced vital capacity of medical students: A longitudinal study

1 Department of Physiology, Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences, Swami Rama Himalayan University, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India
2 Department of Physiology, Rohilkhand Medical College and Hospital, Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Dipak Kumar Dhar
Department of Physiology, Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences, Swami Rama Himalayan University, Jolly Grant, Dehradun, Uttarakhand
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/amhs.amhs_68_19

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Background and Aim: Formaldehyde exposure is one of the various occupational hazards experienced by a doctor during his life. There is consistent and regular exposure to formaldehyde during the gross anatomy dissection classes. Since it vaporizes at room temperature, respiratory system is easily affected. The present study was undertaken to assess its effect on forced vital capacity (FVC) of medical students. The aim of this study is to evaluate the FVC of the 1st year medical students after exposure to formaldehyde. Materials and Methods: A longitudinal study was conducted in the Department of Physiology among 1st year MBBS students. The spirometric parameter FVC was recorded in 80 medical students using spirometer RMS Helios 401. Percent predicated values were used for analysis. The baseline values were recorded at the beginning of the academic calendar and followed up at the end of 1st, 6th, and 10th months. Data were analyzed using the SPSS. Descriptive statistics and repeated measures ANOVA was used for the analysis. A value of P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: The mean FVC declined significantly over the 1st month of exposure following which there was a gradual reversion to the baseline values over the remaining study period. The cumulative pattern of this change was also statistically significant (P = 0.000). Conclusion: Formaldehyde causes detrimental changes on the ventilatory mechanics of the lung. The effect is marked in the initial phase following which the body tries to restore homeostasis.

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