A medical mask, also referred to as 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 from the atmosphere by capturing airborne bacteria that are shed from the mouth and nostrils of the wearer and catching them in a protective covering.
There are many different forms of medical masks available and are used by many different medical professionals. Some of the common applications for medical masks include providing protection to the respiratory system and eyes from infectious disease and minimizing exposure to contaminated equipment. Other applications include protecting the respiratory system from chemical pollutants and irritants, reducing exposure to dangerous agents, preventing damage to the eyes, skin, and nasal cavities and helping to protect the skin from burns and abrasions.
The many diverse materials used to make medical masks vary 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 sufficient ventilation. But 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 types of health mask materials, they aren’t ideal for extended periods of use.
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 produced from a high density foam that has an airtight seal when filled with medical waste and placed inside the hospital.
Styrofoam is normally thick enough to prevent bacteria from getting into the individual ‘s respiratory system and is designed in such a way that air can be pumped through the mask quickly. Because it’s not thick, it’s also able to move around freely, keeping the nose clean and the mouth dry and avoiding contamination from the patient’s sneezing, coughing or breathing heavily. They’re more expensive than other medical mask substances but have shown to be an effective option for hospital employees.
Silicone is a natural product and so 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. for use in medical environments. However, it’s much less readily cleaned as other substances and requires regular replacement or professional cleaning.
Since these masks are intended for use by healthcare workers, they should be cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis to keep the patient and staff protected. This should be done by a trained professional using antibacterial solutions, which is usually included in any equipment purchased by the hospital or medical facility.
Cleaning is simple since the substances are nonporous and there are no chemicals used to clean them. They require only a simple wipe down with a damp cloth or wet wash cloth to remove excess moisture and germs. In cases of excessive wear, like in the case of prolonged hospital work hours, it’s important to wash the mask often to prevent contamination and ensure a fresh infection-free environment.
To disinfect the mask, sanitizer solutions should be poured into a spray bottle and allowed to soak into the foam. The solution should then be allowed to sit for thirty minutes, so it doesn’t soak in the mask but instead into the skin beneath. After the sanitizer has been applied, it’s important to rinse the mask off completely with clean water to remove any residual sanitizer.
Cleaning masks in the hospital can be a pain for the staff members, but if done properly can prevent infections and reduce costs by protecting the employees and patients from contaminants that can infect them. Even a very simple solution of one cup of bleach diluted in two quarts of water is sufficient to purge and sterilize the mask, preventing it from spreading bacteria and potentially causing a severe infection.
Although sanitizing is very important other than the obvious reason of avoiding contamination, the mask itself may also need sanitizing to remove food, drink or other material which can get into the air during use. By way of example, if there are individuals that are in and out of the room during the course of the day, the mask can often become contaminated during their use. Cleaning this area of the mask using a bleach solution gives a clean-air area that prevents contamination and allows the air to flow freely. Bleach solutions may also be used to sanitize tools and instruments in the room, as well as clean up droppings from staff and patients.