Addressing Difficulty in Communication While Wearing a Respirator Mask During the COVID-19 Pandemic by Using a Laryngophone
Keywords:laryngophone, communication, COVID-19, pandemic, microphone, speaker, respirator mask
Objective: To describe the use of a laryngophone to aid in verbal communication when wearing elastomeric respirator masks.
Design: Instrumentation Innovation
Setting: Tertiary Private Training Hospital
Participants: Five volunteers using elastomeric respirator masks rated laryngophone use, afterwhich they individually rated an additional volunteer on speech intelligibility before and after laryngophone use.
Results: On a scale of 1-10, the average score of the five volunteers for the laryngophone was 8.8 for ease of use, 8.0 for comfort, and 8.0 for ease of communication. Their average speech intelligibility score for the additional volunteer using the respirator mask alone was 2.0, and for use of the respirator mask with laryngophone was 3.6 on a scale of 1-4.
Conclusion: This portable laryngophone speaker may be useful in aiding otolaryngologists and health care providers using elastomeric respirator masks in verbal communication by amplifying speech without needing an external microphone, preventing vocal strain.
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