The FDA is one of the largest federal agencies in the United States. FDA stands for Food and Drug Administration. It ensures the protection of the people of the United States by determining whether these products are safe and effective or not. It checks the safety and efficacy of the products. These products include medicines, vaccines, veterinary drugs, human drugs, cosmetics, tobacco, and biological products, etc. The FDA has been interacting with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to cope with the fatality of the novel coronavirus.
It is one of the most trust-worthy places to determine whether a product is safe or not. Products that pass the FDA’s tests are considered efficient. The FDA passes the products through some tests to check the safety of a product. The FDA agrees to the use of the product that passes the tests. You can use the product if the FDA approves the use of it. Medical face masks are approved by the FDA for use; this makes the surgical mask efficient and safe. Hence, you can use FDA-approved surgical masks.
The FDA’s recommendations for N95 respirator use
According to the FDA, surgical masks and N95 respirators are two of the most effective face-coverings for the people of the United States. The FDA has approved the use of medical face masks. Similarly, NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) approved N95 respirators for use when the face-coverings passed its rigorous testing. Both of these Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are effective against coronavirus disease. They keep the person safe from the coronavirus disease. However, both of these face-coverings are manufactured for different purposes.
The FDA’s recommendation for the frontline healthcare workers
The FDA recommends the use of N95 respirators to healthcare workers for various reasons. N95 respirators are considered one of the most effective respiratory protection devices. The N95 respirator filters out more than ninety-five percent of the airborne particles that could harm the health of the individual. It reduces the exposure of the user to particles in the air that are harmful. The N95 respirator comes in different types of sizes. It fits on vulnerable parts of the face. It covers these parts and prevents the airborne particles from entering the body.
It blocks tiny particles as well. It filters out particles that are as small as 0.3 microns. The N95 respirator filters out harmful particles such as viral agents, infectious particles, and dust particles, etc. The N95 respirator has a filtration material that filters out germs, bacteria, and infectious particles, etc. Non-woven polypropylene fiber is the filtration material that is used in manufacturing N95 respirators. The N95 respirator is one of the most efficient Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for safety from COVID-19.
Therefore, frontline healthcare workers should be the ones to use it. The public should not use N95 respirators; this is because N95 respirators have been inadequate in the United States for months now. Doctors did not have an adequate supply of N95 respirators. The healthcare facilities of the United States have been suffering for a while. The scarcity of N95 respirators has dramatically increased the number of coronavirus cases. Essential workers did not have N95 respirators for use for days.
N95 respirators are face-coverings that are designed for once. They are not manufactured to use more than once. You cannot use the N95 respirator more than one time. Doing that increases your chances of contracting coronavirus disease. The efficiency of N95 respirators gets progressively worse. Healthcare providers prefer the use of N95 respirators as they are way more effective than surgical masks. They have to be in the proximity of the people that are coronavirus patients. Therefore, they require effective face-covering like the N95 respirator.
Moreover, the scarcity was at its peak at the start of May. People would not have PPE for safety from the coronavirus disease. Insufficient numbers of N95 respirators had caused devastation to the United States. The number of coronavirus cases was increasing at a swift pace. The frontline healthcare professionals of these healthcare facilities had to use trash bags as surgical gowns for protection from the coronavirus disease. That is how dire the situation of the hospitals was.
Frontline healthcare workers were not permitted to use more than one face mask per week. They had to reuse N95 respirators for days until it got either damaged or soiled. Therefore, the public should limit the use of N95 respirators. Frontline healthcare workers should be the ones to wear them. Doctors must possess extra N95 respirators in healthcare facilities. They should replace the face-covering after they have used the first one. Doctors should wear N95 respirators in healthcare facilities at all costs.
The FDA’s recommendations for the public
The N95 respirators should not be given to the public. There is a remarkable alternative to the N95 respirator. Surgical masks are the ones that should be handed to the public. The general public must use surgical masks for protection from coronavirus. Surgical masks might be effective than N95 respirators, but they are effective against the hazardous respiratory droplets of the novel coronavirus. Surgical masks guard the wearer against the respiratory droplets of COVID-19. These face masks filter out dust, dirt, mist, smog, fog, infectious particles, and viral agents, etc. You can use other alternatives like KN95 respirators and cloth masks if you cannot find surgical masks for use.