A medical mask, also called an oral or facial mask, is meant to be worn by medical professionals in healthcare settings. It’s designed to reduce 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 types of health masks available and are used by a variety of medical professionals.
The many different materials used to make medical masks vary from latex to silicon. However, while they are 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 kinds 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 sort of medical 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 filled with medical waste and put inside 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 immediately. 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 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 will not degrade over time like other materials. It has 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 frequent replacement or professional cleaning.
Since these masks are intended for use by healthcare employees, they should 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 simple since the materials are nonporous and there are no chemicals used to wash them. They require only 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 wash the mask often to avoid contamination and ensure a new 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 permitted to sit for thirty minutes, so it doesn’t soak in the mask but rather to the skin beneath. After the sanitizer has been implemented, 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 correctly 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 purge and sterilize the mask, preventing it from spreading germs and potentially causing a severe infection.
Although sanitizing is quite important besides the obvious reason of preventing contamination, the mask itself may also need sanitizing to remove food, drink or other material that may get into the air during use. By way of example, if there are individuals that are in and out of the room throughout the course of this day, the mask may often become contaminated during their use. Cleaning this area of the mask using 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, as well as clean up droppings from staff and patients.