WHAT WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT MASKS
WHY WEAR A MASK?
FIRST use was to protect patient from our saliva and respiration that might infect or compromise the healing process of a wound. NOW it is also use to protect medical staff not only from breathing or swallowing airborne particles but also from a large spectrum of spatter, droplets that can reach mucosa of lips, nose, mouth or reach face skin that present dermatitis or any other disorder (ex: scratch)
HOW TO WEAR A MASK? (DO AND DON’T)
- Color out
- Pleated down
- Adjust it well (nose piece and chin)
- Must stay in place all the time: never pull it down when you leave the room, or when your talking with a patient or just want to breathe easier
WHAT IS THE RIGHT MASK?
According to the procedure type: level of protection (low, medium or high)
- Comfort and fit: comfortable nose piece that stay in place and is easy to adjust, test the earloop bands or ties: should not pull or add pressure, yet not to loose and choose latex free
- Better of with a flat mask (will cover more skin than a cone mask), make sure the mask is fibreglass free (filter)
- Breathability: Select a mask that is easy to breathe through, as this will reduce moisture building up within the mask
- Educate yourself: Learn to read labels make you’re your mask meet the standards of the industry and make sure you understand them.
CAN YOU WEAR THE MASK ALL DAY?
No, it is recommend that a mask be changed between each patient or every 60 minutes in dry conditions, using high aerosol or if a lot of moisture is involved, every 20 minutes before it looses its filtering capacity. Think about how many bacteria will be developing under your mask, when wearing the same mask all day. This may account for skin irritation or outbreaks. All masks have that same limited life time.
WILL EARLOOP MASKS PROTECT ME FROM TUBERCULOSIS?
NO. Special masks are required for some applications (tuberculosis, laser plume …)
DO MEDICOM MASKS CONTAIN ANY LATEX?
No, all Medicom masks are latex free, except for the pink cone masks.
WHY DO YOUR MASKS HAVE SHINGLE PLEATS?
To prevent the pooling of fluids which would increase the risk of fluid penetration
DOES THE COLORED SIDE GO ON THE INSIDE OR THE OUTSIDE?
The colored side always goes on the outside (away from the face). The ear loops are sonicated on the outside of the mask.
WHAT IS THE MINIMUM BFE LEVEL FOR A PROCEDURE MASK?
The minimum BFE level is 98% at 3 microns.