Proper Use of PPE: Masks

Posted by Rachel on 5/15/2020 to Safety Tips
Proper Use of PPE: Masks

If you’ve ventured out into public recently, hopefully you have been wearing a mask! Gloves, hand sanitizer, and face masks have become all the rage recently, and for good reason. But if you do not use these preventative tools properly, they often become less effective. In the next few weeks, the CPR Savers Blog will be publishing instructions, tips, and tricks on how to utilize PPE effectively to help prevent the spread of infection, keeping you and your loved ones a bit more safe in this uncertain time.

Face Masks

The CDC recommends that all individuals that travel through a public space in an area with community-based transmission wear a face covering of some sort. Masks filter pathogens you inhale to keep you from getting sick, as well as those that you exhale to keep others from getting sick.
To properly wear a mask, make sure both your mouth and your nose are covered by cloth. Pull the loops behind your ears to secure them in place. Some masks feature an adjustable wire in the nose bridge; bend this to fit the mask to your face as closely as possible.

Common available masks include:

Disposable Masks
Sometimes referred to as a medical, surgical, or dental masks, disposable masks are common one-size-fits-all paper masks of varying thickness. Although these masks do not offer the strongest protection, they are easy to use, comfortable to wear, and are simply thrown away after use.

N95 Respirator Masks
N95 Masks are worn by healthcare professionals and those on the front lines where protecting themselves (and their patients) is critical. To be most effective, these masks must be fitted to the face properly and wearers should go through training on their use.

KN95 Respirator Masks
KN95 masks can be worn by healthcare professionals if N95 are in short supply. They do feature the same 95% particle filtration that N95 masks have. They are manufactured according to Chinese standards and are required to pass fit tests.

Cloth Masks
In light of new data about how COVID-19 spreads, along with evidence of widespread COVID-19 illness in communities across the country, CDC recommends that people wear a cloth face covering to cover their nose and mouth in the community setting. This is to protect people around you if you are infected but do not have symptoms.
Cloth masks can be both commercially produced or handmade. They are washable, reusable, and effective at reducing risk. Remember not to share masks with family members - assign masks to each person, and wash after every use. Consider buying your own handmade mask from CPR Savers!


Remember to Stay 6 Feet Away!

While wearing face coverings is a public health measure everyone should take to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the CDC still recommends that you stay at least 6 feet away from other people ("social distancing"). Remember to also frequently wash your hands and wear gloves. View the CDC’s guide on how to protect yourself here.


Sources:
Center for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19)


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