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 in the air by capturing airborne bacteria that are shed from the mouth and nostrils of the wearer and capturing them in a protective covering.
There are many unique types of health masks available and are used by a variety of medical professionals.
The many different materials used to make medical masks range from latex to silicon. However, while they are resistant to infections and contamination, 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 usage.
Polystyrene, also known as Styrofoam or High-Density Silicon, is a fairly new sort of health mask material. This type of mask is similar to a plastic container, which is generally produced from a high density foam that has an airtight seal when stuffed with medical waste and put inside the hospital.
Styrofoam is typically thick enough to prevent bacteria from entering the individual ‘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 individual ‘s sneezing, coughing or breathing heavily. They’re more expensive than other medical mask materials but have shown 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 materials and requires frequent replacement or professional cleaning.
Since these masks are designed for use by healthcare workers, they should 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 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. 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 environment.
The solution should be permitted to sit for 30 minutes, so it doesn’t soak into the mask but rather 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 residual 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 could infect them. Even a simple solution of one cup of bleach diluted in two quarts of water is enough to effectively disinfect and sterilize the mask, preventing it from spreading bacteria and potentially causing a serious infection.
Although sanitizing is very important besides the obvious reason of preventing contamination, the mask itself might 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 who are in and out of the space during the course of the day, the mask may often become contaminated during their use. Cleaning this region of the mask with a bleach solution gives 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.