How many days should an n95 mask be worn for?

N95 respirator

The N95 respirator is a respiratory protective device that blocks or filters out airborne particles that might pose a threat to the health of an individual. The word N95 means that the N95 respirator is ninety-five percent effective at the filtration of dust, pollen, mud, bacteria, infectious agents, and viral infections, etc. It prevents the wearer from contracting harmful airborne particles of the novel coronavirus and the influenza virus.

Therefore, the usage of N95 respirators is pivotal during the time of the novel coronavirus. The N95 respirator filters out particles of various sizes. Since it filters out particles of different sizes, the N95 respirator has been considered the best respirator for protection against the novel coronavirus. In addition to that, the N95 respirator is the safest Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The N95 respirator limits the spread of contagious diseases. 

Since the pandemic began, the demand for N95 respirators has risen a lot, and there has been an acute shortage of N95 respirators in the United States. Therefore, the higher authorities urged the public to wear N95 respirators to keep them safe from the novel coronavirus. However, the shortage of N95 respirators forced the higher authorities to change their recommendations to the public, and the higher authorities recommended the public to wear surgical masks; this is because there were no N95 respirators left for healthcare professionals. 

There are different models of N95 respirators. Each model has a specific use. Some N95 respirators are long-lasting, and some of them are not. However, there was research which shows that the N95 respirators that are used for more than two days are not effective in combating the novel coronavirus; this is because some of the N95 respirators are disposable, and they cannot withstand the severity of the harmful airborne particles of the novel coronavirus because they get ineffective after the use of two days.

If there is something wrong with the N95 respirators after two days of use, it has been recommended not to use N95 respirators. However, if you have non-disposable N95 respirators, it has been recommended to sterilize or decontaminate an N95 respirator. There are several ways to decontaminate an N95 respirator. Some of those ways are easy, and some of those ways are hard. The public has started purchasing non-disposable N95 respirators to reuse N95 respirators. Following are some ways to decontaminate an N95 respirator:

The reason why surgical masks were recommended to people for use is because of the shortage of N95 respirators. As we know that the N95 respirators are more effective than surgical masks, healthcare professionals required N95 respirators to treat infected patients. Since healthcare professionals have been putting their lives on the line to treat the infected patients, they severely needed the N95 respirators. Hence, the higher authorities recommended the public to use surgical masks. 

The public has started buying surgical masks since they are somewhat effective in keeping them safe from the novel coronavirus. Surgical masks are good in keeping the wearer safe, but they are not as effective as the N95 respirator. People — who doubt the effectiveness of surgical masks — buy non-disposable N95 respirators since they can be decontaminated after use. Decontamination of an N95 respirator means to clean the bacteria off the surface of the N95 respirator. Non-disposable masks can be worn for more than eight hours, and they are as effective as a new N95 respirator after decontamination.

There are numerous ways to decontaminate a non-disposable N95 respirator. One of those ways is to decontaminate an N95 respirator through the process of ultraviolet germicidal radiation. It is a complex method for the decontamination of N95 respirators, and it is relatively more time-consuming than the other decontamination methods. Large healthcare facilities use such decontamination methods for keeping their employees safe from contracting this harmful disease. Small healthcare facilities like nursing homes and physician offices do not have complex equipment for decontaminating an N95 respirator. 

Therefore, there are other decontamination methods for sterilizing an N95 respirator. The easiest process for decontaminating an N95 respirator is the use of dry heat treatment for decontaminating an N95 respirator. It is the easiest option for decontaminating an N95 respirator. Small healthcare facilities like nursing homes and physician offices can use this method for decontaminating an N95 respirator. In addition to that, people can use this method for decontaminating an N95 respirator. Steam treatment is one of the most viable options for decontaminating an N95 respirator as well. 

Time decontamination is another method for decontaminating an N95 respirator. In this method, the N95 respirator is put in a place for a specific amount of time. After the N95 respirator has been decontaminated, the N95 respirator can be reused by the wearer. Therefore, it has become pivotal for an individual to use non-disposable N95 respirators during the novel coronavirus. 

Conclusion

There are different types of N95 respirators. Every N95 respirator has a specific use. Therefore, it is hard to determine what N95 respirators can be worn for several days. However, research was conducted, which showed that the disposable N95 respirators should not be used for more than two days since they are not as effective as they used to be. Non-disposable N95 respirators can be used for several days, and they should be decontaminated after use so that they can be reused. Because of the shortage, non-disposable N95 respirators are indispensable.

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