Health experts and medical care personnel wear surgical masks. Surgical masks are known as masks or face covers for health professions. It has been used by health professionals throughout the operation cycle. In particular, surgical masks are planned for clinical characters to protect them from body liquid sprinkles, not like N95. But somehow this cover also has the consistency to even defend against diseases of contagious flu.
At the this period, no form of surgical mask specifically for coronavirus protection in the U.S. has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, but these masks may provide some protection if there are no N95 masks available.
Often referred to as a medical mask, a surgical mask is a loose-fitting plastic mask which protects the wearer's nose and mouth from contact with droplets, splashes, and sprays containing germs. A surgical mask also filters out large particles in the air. Surgical masks can safeguard others by decreasing exposure to the saliva and respiratory secretions of the mask wearer.
How many times can a surgical mask be reused?
We can use a surgical mask a few times. The surgical would operate optimally for twenty-four hours of intermittent or nonstop use. Regular substitution is important.
In most cases, you can need it for no more than 5 years from the date of manufacture when its shelf life is concerned (check the date printed on your mask package).
Furthermore, as storage conditions impact their lifespan, you should make sure that they are properly preserved in their original packaging. In any of the following cases, you need to discard your surgical face mask.
Remove yours after close contact with a patient's environment or region who is co-infected or diagnosed with the disease. Dispose of the mask whether it is contaminated with nasal secretions, surgical masks secretions, blood, or any other bodily fluid. Get rid of your surgical mask after using it in an aerosol-generating operation.
Research about the reuse of surgical masks
Michael Chang, an infectious disease specialist at McGovern Medical School at the UT Health Science Center in Houston, says that due to the lack of masks, some medical professionals reuse surgical masks for at least one day or one change for the same patient, and then if possible, swap out masks between different patients. In order to safely remove and reuse masks, these health care staff receives training and education.
Researches have not verified whether surgical masks can be washed safely so that they remain functional, and Chang does not suggest attempting to wash and dry them at home. The safest choice will be to keep it packed in a bag for 72 hours in the infected area if you have to reuse a surgical mask.
As air circulation helps with drying and can help inactivate the virus, you don't want it to be air-tight,' he says. Chang emphasizes, however, that it would be easier to throw away surgical masks.
Pierre suggests folding it in half to contain secretions on the inside, then placing it in a plastic bag or rolling it up in a towel before throwing it away if you don't have to reuse a surgical mask (they're meant to be disposable).
“The mask tumbles if you jostle the can and viral particles can dislodge from the mask's surface or interior and be expelled into the air”, Pierre says. [Make sure] you have a closed lid when you drop it into the receptacle so that bacteria will not be stirred into the air and potentially form an aerosol cloud that could kill it.
After leaving dense traffic area, you should change your surgical mask (can’t reuse)
At this time, you must replace it periodically. Also, don't cross the front by withdrawing your hands from both sides. Take off your mask and do not throw it away at all. Since the mask is covered by a virus, immediately after it has been removed, it must be killed.
However, the virus density to which ordinary individuals are exposed is very low, so it is needless to be so cautious. This valuable mask is possible to reuse.
This valuable mask is possible to reuse. The surgical mask can be used about five times without going to the hospital or dense traffic, after usage, if continuous use is required, the surgical mask must be kept in a dry and ventilation systems position. Do not fold up for storage.
CDC about reuse of surgical masks
The CDC suggests that people wear masks in public spaces, such as public and mass transit, at festivals and meetings, and wherever other people are around them. Masks can help avoid the spread of the virus to others by individuals who have COVID-19.
Reuse implies the practice of multiple encounters with patients using the same surgical masks, but after each encounter, withdrawing it ('doffing'). The surgical mask is held between experiences to be placed on again ('donned') before the next encounter with a patient.
Even when surgical face mask reuse is practiced or recommended, there are limitations in place that restrict the number of times the same surgical face mask is reused. Limited reuse of surgical face masks has been proposed during past respiratory pathogen outbreaks and pandemics and has widely been used as an alternative to retaining respirators.
The CDC notes, however, that prolonged usage is preferred over reuse because it is expected to require less touching of the respirator and therefore less chance of contact transmission.