Can You Reuse Surgical Masks During the Pandemic?
Covid-19 has undoubtedly changed the principles of life!
The way we as human beings live and work have all changed. Our routine has been hit hard by the pandemic in the recent past. The world has faced a crisis that has impacted the principles of life. We have heavily focused on hygiene and health in the recent past and are still doing the same. Sanitation and self-sterilization have become the new norm of life.
The way we carry on our day to day activities has also been restricted in a way. The health authorities at the global and local level have made all sorts of rules safeguarding ourselves against the pandemic's adverse effects. Amongst all, the most prominent has been the physical boundaries.
We have been socially distanced, self-isolated, improving our hygiene habits constantly (especially hand hygiene methods), and so on. As our way of living is transforming during the pandemic, face masks and hand sanitization have become crucial. When we talk of face masks, there is a variety that depends on the kind of usage.
There are cloth-based masks, surgical face masks, cone type masks, N95, and other respirators. Though all types of masks hold their importance under different circumstances, surgical face masks are more of regular use and come with utmost protection. They are intended to be used mostly for medical purposes and are considered medical devices by all standards. They are thus worn by the healthcare professionals and other frontline warriors. This may lead to a question that whether these surgical masks can be reused or disposable. Let's go into detail to know more about this.
What are surgical face masks?
Surgical face masks are the medical face masks intended to be used as medical devices for comprehensive protection against the virus's spread. These face masks cover the nose and the mouth and act as barriers against the passage of unwanted fluids, splashes, sprays, splatter, and particulate materials. They are made with non-woven fabric, which has better bacteria filtration and air permeability while remaining less slippery than a woven cloth.
Being considered as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), the surgical face masks, if used diligently, can effectively reduce the spread of the virus in public. This thereby reduces the risk of infection in the respiratory tract.
Can they be reused?
To bring it to your notice that the surgical face masks are not made to be used more than once. These face masks are disposable so once used, cannot be used again. Since these face masks are intended for single use only, they should be removed using useful techniques immediately. Thus surgical face masks should be disposed of directly in an infectious waste bin with a lid, followed by hand hygiene.
Careful use of these surgical face masks is essential!
These flat and thin paper-like surgical face masks have to be worn with a lot more circumspect approach. We should make cautious use of these face masks, which should be based on the guidelines and recommendations of both local and global health authorities. Remember, these single-use medical masks are lighter and cheaper. Also, don't forget to follow the proper way to wear the mask, which includes:
Washing your hands before you apply your mask correctly. Don't forget to wash and clean your hands thoroughly, after taking it off and after touching it at any time.
Make sure the masks fully cover the vulnerable surfaces such as your nose, mouth, and chin.
When you take off a mask, keep it stored in a plastic bag, and either washes it if it's a fabric mask or dispose of the medical device in a trash bin.
Take a Note:
Improper use of mask could lead to the spread of the virus. Only proper use of these surgical face masks in public places can significantly reduce the spread of infection in the respiratory tract.