A medical mask, also called an oral or facial mask, is supposed to be worn by medical professionals in healthcare settings. It’s designed to reduce inhalation of bacteria and droplets from the air by capturing airborne bacteria that are shed in the mouth and nostrils of the wearer and capturing them in a protective covering.
There are many unique forms 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. Latex masks have long been a preferred material by many medical professionals for their ability to resist bacteria and other contaminants while maintaining adequate ventilation. But 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 health mask materials, they are not 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 type of mask is like a plastic container, which is usually made of a high density foam which has an airtight seal when filled with medical waste and put within the hospital.
Styrofoam is typically thick enough to prevent bacteria from getting into the patient’s respiratory system and is designed in such a way that air can be pumped through the mask immediately. 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’re 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 has a water-resistant covering and can be easily molded into any shape or form, which makes it very versatile. However, it is not as readily cleaned as other materials and requires regular replacement or specialist cleaning.
Since these masks are intended for use by healthcare workers, 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 easy since the materials are nonporous and there are no chemicals used to wash them. 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 fresh infection-free atmosphere.
The solution should be allowed to sit for thirty minutes, so it doesn’t soak in the mask but rather into the skin beneath. After the sanitizer was implemented, 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 correctly 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 enough to purge and sterilize the mask, preventing it from spreading bacteria and possibly causing a severe infection.
Although sanitizing is very important besides the obvious reason of avoiding contamination, the mask itself may also need sanitizing to remove food, drink or other substance which can get into the air during use. For example, if there are individuals who are in and out of the space throughout the course of the day, the mask may often become contaminated during their use. Cleaning this region of the mask using a bleach solution provides a clean-air space that prevents contamination and allows the air to flow freely. Bleach solutions can also be used to sanitize tools and instruments in the room, in addition to clean up droppings from patients and staff.