A medical mask, also called an oral or facial mask, is supposed to be worn by medical professionals in healthcare settings. It’s designed to prevent inhalation of bacteria and droplets in the air by capturing airborne bacteria that are shed from the mouth and nostrils of the wearer and capturing them in a protective covering.
There are lots of unique forms of health masks available and are used by a variety of medical professionals.
The many different materials used to create medical masks range from latex to silicon. Latex masks have long been a preferred material by many medical professionals for their ability to resist bacteria and other contaminants while maintaining adequate ventilation. However, while they’re resistant to infections and contaminants, latex masks can deteriorate and may not provide sufficient ventilation or are too thin. While they are more durable than many other kinds of health mask materials, they aren’t ideal for long periods of usage.
Polystyrene, also known as Styrofoam or High-Density Silicon, is a fairly new sort of health mask material. This type of mask is similar to a plastic container, which is usually made of a high density foam which has an airtight seal when stuffed with medical waste and placed within the hospital.
Styrofoam is typically thick enough to prevent germs from getting into the patient’s respiratory system and is designed in such a way that air can be pumped through the mask quickly. Because it is not thick, it’s also able to move around freely, keeping the nose clean and the mouth dry and avoiding contamination from the individual ‘s sneezing, coughing or breathing heavily. They are more expensive than other medical mask materials but have shown to be an effective option for hospital employees.
Silicone is a natural product and therefore will not degrade over time like other materials. It’s a water-resistant covering and can be easily molded into any shape or form, which makes it very versatile. However, it’s much less easily cleaned as other substances and requires regular replacement or professional cleaning.
Since these masks are designed for use by healthcare workers, they need to be cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis to help keep the patient and staff shielded. This should be done by a trained professional using antibacterial solutions, which is typically included in any equipment bought by the hospital or medical facility.
Cleaning is easy since the materials are nonporous and there are no chemicals used to clean them. In cases of excessive wear, like in the case of prolonged hospital work hours, it’s important to clean the mask often to avoid contamination and ensure a new infection-free atmosphere.
The solution should then be allowed to sit for thirty minutes, so it doesn’t soak into the mask but rather to the skin beneath. After the sanitizer was applied, it’s important to rinse off the mask completely with clean water to remove any residual sanitizer.
Cleaning masks at the hospital can be a pain for the staff members, but if done properly can prevent infections and reduce costs by protecting the staff and patients from contaminants which could infect them. Even a very simple solution of one cup of bleach diluted in 2 quarts of water is enough to effectively disinfect and sterilize the mask, preventing it from spreading bacteria and potentially causing a serious infection.
Although sanitizing is very important besides the obvious reason of preventing contamination, the mask itself might also need sanitizing to eliminate food, drink or other material that may get into the air during use. By way of instance, if there are patients that are in and out of the room throughout the course of the day, the mask can often become contaminated during their usage. Cleaning this area of the mask with a bleach solution provides a clean-air area that prevents contamination and allows the air to flow freely. Bleach solutions can also be used to sanitize tools and instruments in the room, as well as clean up droppings from staff and patients.