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 in the air by capturing airborne bacteria that are shed from the mouth and nostrils of the wearer and catching them in a protective covering.
There are lots of different 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 because of their ability to resist bacteria and other contaminants while maintaining adequate ventilation. But while they are 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 medical mask materials, they aren’t ideal for extended periods of usage.
Polystyrene, also known as Styrofoam or High-Density Silicon, is a relatively new type of health mask material. This sort of mask is like a plastic container, which is usually made of a high density foam that has an airtight seal when stuffed with medical waste and placed inside the hospital.
Styrofoam is normally 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’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 heavily. They are more expensive than other medical mask substances but have proven to be an effective option for hospital employees.
Silicone is a natural product and so 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. for use in medical environments. However, it is much less readily cleaned as other materials 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 protected. 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 substances are nonporous and there are no chemicals used to wash them. They require just a simple wipe down with a damp cloth or wet wash cloth to remove excess moisture and bacteria. In cases of excessive wear, such as in the case of prolonged hospital work hours, it’s important to clean the mask often to prevent 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 into the skin beneath. After the sanitizer was implemented, it’s important to rinse the mask off 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 properly can prevent infections and reduce costs by protecting the employees and patients from contaminants which can infect them. Even a very simple solution of one cup of bleach diluted in 2 quarts of water is sufficient to effectively disinfect and sterilize the mask, preventing it from spreading bacteria and potentially causing a severe infection.
Although sanitizing is quite important other than the obvious reason of preventing contamination, the mask itself might also need sanitizing to eliminate food, drink or other substance that can get into the air during use. For instance, if there are individuals that are in and out of the space throughout the course of this day, the mask may often become contaminated during their usage. Cleaning this region of the mask with a bleach solution gives 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, in addition to clean up droppings from patients and staff.