A medical mask, also called 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 air by capturing airborne bacteria which are shed in the mouth and nostrils of the wearer and capturing 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 different 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 sufficient ventilation. However, while they’re resistant to infections and contamination, latex masks can deteriorate and may not provide sufficient ventilation or are too thin. While they are stronger than many other kinds of medical mask materials, they aren’t ideal for long periods of usage.
Polystyrene, also known as Styrofoam or High-Density Silicon, is a relatively new sort of medical mask material. This sort 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 put inside the hospital.
Styrofoam is typically thick enough to prevent germs 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 patient’s sneezing, coughing or breathing deeply. They are more expensive than other medical mask materials 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 not as easily cleaned as other materials and requires frequent replacement or professional cleaning.
Since these masks are intended for use by healthcare employees, they need to be cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis to help keep the patient and staff protected. 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 simple since the substances are nonporous and there are no chemicals used to clean 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, like in the case of prolonged hospital work hours, it’s important to clean the mask often to avoid contamination and ensure a fresh infection-free atmosphere.
The solution should then be permitted to sit for 30 minutes, so it doesn’t soak in the mask but rather into the skin beneath. After the sanitizer has been applied, 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 that could infect them. Even a 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 possibly 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. For example, if there are individuals that are in and out of the space during the course of this day, the mask may often become contaminated during their use. Cleaning this area of the mask using a bleach solution provides a clean-air area that prevents contamination and allows the air to flow freely. Bleach solutions can also be used to sanitize tools and instruments in the room, as well as clean up droppings from patients and staff.