A medical mask, also referred to as an oral or facial mask, is meant to be worn by medical professionals in health care settings. It’s designed to reduce inhalation of bacteria and droplets in the atmosphere by capturing airborne bacteria that are shed in the mouth and nostrils of the wearer and capturing them in a protective covering.
There are many unique forms of medical masks available and are used by a variety of 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.
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 adequate ventilation. But while they’re resistant to infections and contamination, latex masks can deteriorate and may not provide adequate ventilation or are too thin. While they are stronger than many other kinds of medical mask materials, they are not 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 sort of mask is like 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 normally thick enough to prevent germs from entering 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 preventing contamination from the patient’s sneezing, coughing or breathing deeply. They are more expensive than other medical mask materials but have proven to be an effective option for hospital employees.
Silicone is a natural product and therefore won’t 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 not as easily cleaned as other substances and requires regular replacement or specialist cleaning.
Since these masks are intended for use by healthcare employees, they need to be cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis to keep the patient and staff shielded. 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 easy since the materials are nonporous and there are no chemicals used to wash them. In cases of excessive wear, like in the case of prolonged hospital work hours, it’s important to wash the mask often to avoid contamination and ensure a new infection-free environment.
The solution should then be permitted to sit for 30 minutes, so it doesn’t soak in the mask but instead to the skin beneath. After the sanitizer was implemented, it’s important to rinse off the mask completely with clean water to remove any remaining sanitizer.
Cleaning masks in the hospital can be a pain for the staff members, but if done correctly can prevent infections and reduce costs by protecting the employees 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 sufficient to purge and sterilize the mask, preventing it from spreading bacteria and potentially causing a serious infection.
Although sanitizing is quite important other than the obvious reason of avoiding contamination, the mask itself might also need sanitizing to eliminate food, drink or other material that can get into the air during use. By way of example, if there are patients who are in and out of the room throughout the course of the day, the mask can often become contaminated during their usage. Cleaning this region of the mask with a bleach solution provides a clean-air space 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.