A medical mask, also referred to as an oral or facial mask, is meant 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 which 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 uses 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 create medical masks vary from latex to silicon. However, while they’re resistant to infections and contaminants, latex masks can deteriorate and may not provide adequate ventilation or are too thin. While they are more durable than many other types of medical mask materials, they aren’t ideal for long periods of use.
Polystyrene, also known as Styrofoam or High-Density Silicon, is a relatively new type of medical mask material. This type of mask is similar to a plastic container, which is generally made of a high density foam that has an airtight seal when stuffed with medical waste and put within 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 is not thick, it’s also able to move around freely, keeping the nose clean and the mouth dry and preventing contamination from the individual ‘s sneezing, coughing or breathing deeply. They are more expensive than other medical mask substances but have proven to be an effective choice 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 not as readily cleaned as other materials and requires frequent 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 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 purchased 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 germs. In cases of excessive wear, such as 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 atmosphere.
The solution should be allowed to sit for 30 minutes, so it doesn’t soak in the mask but instead to the skin beneath. After the sanitizer has been applied, 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 properly can prevent infections and reduce costs by protecting the staff and patients from contaminants that can infect them. Even a 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 germs and potentially causing a serious infection.
Although sanitizing is very important besides the obvious reason of preventing contamination, the mask itself may also need sanitizing to eliminate food, drink or other substance that can get into the air during use. By way of example, if there are patients that are in and out of the room throughout the course of this day, the mask may frequently become contaminated during their use. Cleaning this region of the mask with a bleach solution provides 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.