The use of N95 mask in the medical field is one of the most important gears used by health care workers, emergency responders, and other medical professionals who work in any health care setting. Health care workers such as nurses, doctors, pharmacists, emergency room staff, etc. commonly work in health care facilities and are exposed to all types of emergencies, viruses, fungi, and other contaminants that are part of the everyday working environment of these health care workers. Since these professionals deal with these contaminants every day, they are required to be highly careful in their actions and take protective measures when they are working with patients. The use of N95 mask for health care workers is therefore a must.
The use of N95 mask for health care professionals –
A medical professional may use N95 mask during head to toe contact with patients or for laboratory or imaging work or other sterile procedures. The use of N95 mask for such purposes is essential for reducing the risks of occupational exposure to biological hazards, allergens, viruses, and particles. For example, an N95 mask may be required for a nurse who works in a health care facility dealing with patients with head trauma and severe headache. The nurse’s job requires her to perform a variety of tasks that involve the use of her head. These activities include holding the head of the patient while performing neck tests; suturing the head; applying pressure to the scalp; and moving the head of the patient during procedures like blood tests and drawing blood.
The high level of proficiency required of the health care worker depends on how well he or she can cope with the potential hazards in a given work environment. The most common reactions that may be triggered by the exposure to biological hazard are headache, nasal dryness, eye dryness, sneezing, itching, burning sensation, dizziness, and coughing. In the case of a medical professional working in a hospital, these symptoms may be multiplied especially if the patient is having severe headache due to the introduction of an N95 mask. Thus, the potential hazards of being in contact with hazardous drugs need to be understood and addressed.
A novel coronavirus, referred to as Covid -19. The novel coronavirus is said to have originated from rodents and was able to jump from person to person easily because of its highly competent genetic structure. The virus is known to be one of the most resilient strains ever identified. With this in mind, it is believed to have been able to survive and spread through several different epidemics in several countries.
The construct of this mask –
In terms of N95 mask fitting, it is important to note that N95 filters which are made of carbon or polyethylene are the best type to use in terms of filtration efficiency. Carbon N95 filters have good filtration efficiencies because these types of filters can trap air borne pathogens and particulates while simultaneously allowing N95 to pass through the filtration system and escape into a patient’s air system. It is important for an N95 mask fitted with carbon to be of high quality so that the filtration of N95 can be efficient. For one, if the filtration efficiency of the carbon filter is less than 30%, the overall effectiveness of the mask may reduce. Carbon N95 filters also have a high level of durability, as it is able to withstand exposure to adverse environmental conditions and still serve the purpose of providing excellent N95 care.
Another essential material to look out for when looking at various types of personal protective equipment or PPE is N95 mask or N95 face masks. Masks with a snug fit should be preferred because they help provide optimal airway protection, especially for people with restricted mobility. In terms of size, a standard N95 mask is usually medium in size but there are ones available in child sizes and even sizes for the head of adults. The most ideal type of mask to look out for would have a medium to tight fit on top but also should be lightweight so it does not add to the bulkiness of a person’s head or shoulders.
Other features –
Aside from the fit of a mask, its other important feature to consider would be the level of N95 filtering it possesses. There are three kinds of N95 filters, namely, HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter, electrostatic, and carbon. HEPA filters are usually preferred over the other two, since it is believed to produce less airborne particles than other types of filters. Electrostatic filters are also preferred because they produce less airborne particles than other kinds of filters but they are not entirely safe to use. Carbon and electrostatic N95 masks are similar in their filtration efficiency but the only real difference between the two would be the level of N95 gas emitted during use.
The different features that medical procedure masks posses are really not that big of a deal if one is already used to wearing them. However, just to be sure, it is still best to double check with a doctor or a nurse on what kind of mask would work best for you. Aside, from the features of N95 surgical masks to consider, one should also pay close attention to the materials used to make the mask. A good mask should have a comfortable fit and should not irritate the skin. Medical procedures are often times done while under extreme pressure, which is why extra care should be exercised when choosing a mask.