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Scientific common sense about masks(2)

Is it necessary to use medical protective masks to protect against viruses? What is the difference between medical N95 and N95 protective masks?


Medical protective masks are protective masks designed to protect medical workers in a specific medical environment and approved by the government. Both medical protective masks and ordinary N95 protective masks have the function of respiratory protection against particulates suspended in the air. There are additional requirements for protective masks used in medical environments. On the one hand, when medical staff perform surgery or treatment on patients, in order to prevent infection of patients, the medical masks they wear must be able to block droplets and bacteria generated by the wearer's breathing and speech from entering the operating environment, and the masks themselves must be hygienic. Yes, so the number of microorganisms on the original mask should not exceed the standard, and the exhalation valve is not allowed on the mask.


On the other hand, in order to prevent high-pressure infectious body fluids generated during surgery or treatment from being sprayed on the mask and then penetrated and contacted with the wearer's mouth and nose, causing medical staff to be infected, medical masks must be resistant to penetration by pressured blood and body fluids. Ability. These two requirements are actually the main requirements for medical surgical masks. Medical protective masks must have the functions of ordinary N95 protective masks and medical surgical masks at the same time, and ordinary N95 protective masks do not need to have the blood and body fluid penetration resistance of medical surgical masks and medical protective masks and the control requirements for microorganisms. Therefore, it is a misunderstanding that only medical protective masks can prevent bacteria and viruses. If it is not used by medical workers to protect against high-pressure body fluid splashing, ordinary N95 protective masks or protective masks with equivalent performance can be used.


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Can a protective mask with an exhalation valve be used to prevent viruses?


The function of the exhalation valve is to reduce the exhalation resistance of the protective mask. Medical protective masks are not allowed to have an exhalation valve because the opened exhalation valve may discharge the droplets or bacteria discharged by the mask wearer out of the mask, which may threaten the patient undergoing surgery.

Therefore, if you wear a protective mask to help you prevent viruses, it is not a problem to choose a more comfortable protective mask with an exhalation valve; but if a person suspects that he is infected or has been infected by a certain virus, he should actively wear a mask. To protect others, masks should not have an exhalation valve, otherwise they will not serve the purpose of protecting others.


How long can disposable protective masks last?


The mask is dirty, damaged, or the resistance increases, causing breathing difficulties, etc. The mask needs to be replaced. Factors affecting the service life of masks include damaged nose clips, loose headbands, deformed masks, odorous or dirty masks, and increased breathing resistance. When such a situation occurs, it should be replaced in time.

Since viruses and other pathogenic microorganisms are contagious, there may be some infectious substances on the used protective mask. If you touch the surface of the contaminated mask with your hands, the pathogenic microorganisms may be taken to other places or touch your own mouth with dirty hands. The nose caused oneself to be infected. So make sure to clean your hands before and after putting on the mask.

If you plan to reuse the mask, store it in a clean, dry and away from any place that may be contaminated. Particulate protective masks cannot be reused after cleaning or disinfection. Therefore, for masks that have been in contact with infectious substances, it is safest to discard them after a single use.


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