The N95 mask is a particulate filter respirator that keeps the wearer or the user safe from airborne particles such as pollutants, contaminants, mud, dust, dirt, and a plethora of other hazardous particles. It filters out all of the airborne particles that it comes across. The N95 mask prevents the wearer from inhaling infectious agents, pollutants, viral infections, and dust particles, etc. The most fascinating thing about these masks is that it filters out 0.3um the size of airborne particles that could endanger an individual’s health.
What makes the N95 mask a better product than the other masks is its ability to filter out the tiniest bit of health-detrimental particles, caused after sneezing, coughing, or talking. The N95 masks have proved their significance during COVID-19 and wildfires as the best personal protective equipment. The N95 masks are quite comfortable to wear as well!
The reason it is considered the best personal protective equipment is that it provides adequate protection against foreign contaminants; these contaminants include smoke, dust, mud, dirt, mist, and a plethora of other contaminants, etc. And the weight of this product is light as well. In addition to that, the cost of the N95 mask is quite low as well, which means the product provides value for money. So anyone can buy one to keep themselves safe!
Based in Melbourne, Australia, staff working at Box Hill Hospital, where a patient and a nurse could have been infected by COVID-19, were told that they could not use the N95 masks at the hospital; which means they could not follow the precautionary measures urged by the government to practice at the hospital.
The number of infected patients rose to 4 after yet another person was tested positive for COVID-19 at that hospital. Health authorities were trying to determine the reason for the breakout, but some emails were leaked, where the conversation showed that a patient was first tested negative before testing positive to COVID-19. It was taken into consideration that the outbreak might have happened because of this patient.
Several other emails revealed that the N95 masks or respirators were available in limited form, and the N95 masks were reserved for those healthcare workers who were treating the patients with the highest risk, and other individuals were not given the permission to do so even if they buy one.
It further revealed that the staff could not bring masks inside the hospital because the hospital would not allow them to do so because they could not control the quality of the masks that were brought by the healthcare workers to the hospital.
Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton confirmed that another staff member tested positive for COVID-19, taking the report cases of the hospital to 19 cases. He said: “We are down to 19 active cases in health staff of any kind ... but I don't want to see another one.” The hospital has recorded 24 COVID-19 patients since the pandemic began. There have been more than 3,559 COVID-19 cases of healthcare workers in Australia who got infected by COVID-19 as a result of taking care of infected patients.
Lisa Fitzpatrick, who is the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation Victorian branch secretary, said all the healthcare workers, who are putting their lives on the line to treat COVID-19 patients, ought to be given fitted N95 masks until the pandemic finishes and all the COVID-19 patients get discharged from the hospital. She further said: “We also want to see all health facilities start fit checking and fit testing N95 masks for all new staff as part of their orientation when they start.”
She further said that she wants all the healthcare organizations and companies to facilitate their healthcare workers and fit-check and fit-test N95 masks for all the workers. Moreover, she said that the ANMF does not allow healthcare providers to come to hospitals without adequately checking their protective equipment.
She said that the reason why healthcare workers were not permitted to use N95 masks at Box Hill hospital is that it is written in Victorian health department guidelines that N95 masks are permitted to selective healthcare providers who are treating COVID-19 patients.
A nursing union revealed an email where it was said that the nurses working at Box Hill were not permitted to use N95 masks even if they tried to buy one for 7$. This is because the hospital could not control the quality of masks brought to the hospital.
Professor Julian Rait, the Victorian Australian Medical Association president, stated that he would not see an issue of healthcare providers bringing their N95 masks if the masks had been tested, but he also expressed concern that it is not humanly possible to fit test the N95 masks across the country’s states, and the implementation of executing that plan will be slow as it is hard to determine what N95 mask will fit the face of healthcare workers. The state government has required fit tests of masks for all the healthcare providers across the state until the end of the month.