All About Face Masks – Benefits and Safety Tips

Wearing a face mask is a protective measure to avoid the infection of many air-borne diseases especially the new strain of coronavirus which causes the disease called COVID-19 and has become a pandemic globally. Wearing a safety mask is an easy and effective way to protect yourself and others from getting infected.

 

Role of Face Masks in COVID-19

To prevent the infection and transmission of the coronavirus, we need to follow some preventive measures such as social distancing, washing hands and wearing protective masks in crowded places.

Many health agencies including the Centre of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have started to encourage all the citizens to wear safety masks in outdoor places, especially crowded places. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) as of 12th May 2020 has advised only two groups of people to wear protective masks:

  • Those suffering from COVID-19 having active symptoms
  • Those providing care to suspected COVID-19 patients

 

World Health Organization (WHO) has also advised the general public to stop using surgical masks and respirators so that they can be reserved for the health workers and medical professionals as they are more at risk in their workplace. Homemade cloth face masks are advised for people who might be contagious but show no symptoms. (Source: BBC News)

 

Types of Face Masks – Which one works the Best

Respirators

  • The N95 respirators and FFP2 respirators are recommended for all health workers
  • These are the most protective masks as they filter out 95% of the airborne particles.
  • These masks are made to fit the face tightly to allow minimum leakage.

Surgical masks

  • These are disposable, loose-fitting masks made of breathable fabric.
  • These masks are also effective in protecting against airborne particles like the respirators

Cloth masks

  • Cloth masks are available at stores and also can be made at home (DIY cloth masks)
  • These are not effective enough against small particles as they are loose-fitting and the fabric is porous. If made with a thick fibre cloth, they can be effective in preventing tiny droplets in case you cough or sneeze.

 

Safety Tips for Handling Face Masks

  • Be sure to wash your hands with soap and water before you put on a mask as well as after removing it.
  • When wearing or removing the mask, handle them from the straps and do not touch the front part of the mask
  • Avoid touching the mask while wearing it
  • Wash the cloth masks with detergent, dry it properly and keep in a paper bag. It’s better to keep it for 2 days before using it again
  • If you need to reuse your surgical or respirator mask, keep it inside a paper bag for at least 7 days as this will ensure the inactivity of the virus
  • Wearing a mask does not ensure complete security and we still need to maintain social distance and proper hand hygiene

 

 

 

References:

<a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/city”>City photo created by jcomp – www.freepik.com</a>

https://www.bbc.com/news/health-51205344

https://blog.universalmedicalinc.com/wearing-face-mask-important/

COVID-19 NOTICE

 

5 STAR CLINIC LTD has put in place several measures to assess and manage the risk of Covid-19 transmission.
Be aware that is not possible to completely eliminate this risk and that a face to face consultation will increase
the likelihood of you contracting COVID-19.

Full information here: 5 STAR CLINIC LTD COVID-19 POLICY

 

BEFORE BOOKING A FACE TO FACE APPOINTMENT:

We are following the CSP chart “Virtual first”, therefore you will be required to have
a Video Consultation at first(15min FREE), where a Triage questionnaire will be also administered.

At the end of the Video Consultation, we will decide if is deemed necessary
a FACE to FACE appointment or if we need to proceed with a virtual consultation.

CLICK: REMOTE OR FACE TO FACE CONSULTATIONS GUIDANCE

 

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    Please DO NOT ATTEND:

    1. If you have you been in close contact (<1m for at least 15 minutes without any protection) with a confirmed case of COVD-19
    2. If are you in the list of clinically extremely vulnerable people, click here: VULNERABLE GROUP
    3. If either you or one of your household has been ill in the last two weeks
    4. If you are suffering from any of the below:
      • Shortness of breath.
      • New persistent cough.
      • Fever over 38 degrees C.
      • Change or loss of taste/smell.

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      SUMMARY OF MEASURE IN PLACE TO REDUCED THE RISK OF COVID-19 TRANSMISSION:

    • We follow hand and hygiene practices throughout the meeting.
    • We provide hand sanitizing facilities and a surgical mask (Type IIR)
    • We minimise contact time closer than 2 metres and for less than 15 minutes
    • We keep at least 15min gap between patient for environment decontamination
    • We provide adequate air changes (average of 15min/hour with 4 to 6 air changes)
    • We provide cleaning and decontamination of equipment, surface and areas
      between each patient
    • Throughout the clinic are placed relevant posters to raise awareness and help in
      managing the risk of transmission
    • We follow safe removal and disposal of PPE in accordance with infection prevention
      and control during Covid-19 document
    • In the waiting area, a maximum of 2 people at a time at a distance>2m will be allowed.
      The patients know where to sit, as in the sitting area 2 chairs are provided only.
    • We follow Respiratory and cough hygiene – ‘Catch it, bin it, kill it’. Disposable, single-use tissues
      should be used to cover the nose and mouth when sneezing, coughing or wiping and blowing the nose,
      used tissues should be disposed of promptly in the nearest waste bin tissues. To be followed from hand hygiene.
    • We are only using disposable or washable material (such as couch covers, paper tissue, couch/pillow etc.)
      The therapist will be wearing PPE in line with government guidelines (disposable gloves, plastic apron,
      surgical mask (Type IIR), eye protection or Visor will be used if at risk of droplets)

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      WHAT DO WE REQUIRE FROM YOU?

    • To arrive on time for your appointment.
    • To do not arrive before or late to avoid crowding in the waiting area.
    • On arrival will be taken a contactless temperature reading.
    • To wear a surgical type mask during the waiting and the treatment*.
      a mask will need to be purchased at the clinic if you do not bring one.
    • To wash or clean the hands with hand sanitizer on the arrival and before.
      leaving and whenever may be needed to reduce the risk of contamination.
    • Please try not to use the toilet if possible and DO NOT USE self-service area.
    • On each face to face consultation, you will be required to fill and sign a Triage questionnaire.
    • Maintain 2 metres separation where possible, for instance, during the subjective examination.
    • To avoid cash payments preferably using contactless payments as much as possible), or online transfers.
    • To come alone unless strictly necessary to be accompanied. After entered the building, the companion will be allowed
      to enter only if strictly necessary (see below chaperone/translator).On the other hand, will be asked to leave and wait in the car.
    • In the case of chaperone/ translator is required will be asked to stay 2m apart of all the time from everyone, also they will need
      to complete a pre-screening questionnaire.
    • Follow Respiratory and cough hygiene – ‘Catch it, bin it, kill it’. Disposable, single-use tissues should be used to cover the nose
      and mouth when sneezing, coughing or wiping and blowing the nose, used tissues should be disposed of promptly in the nearest
      waste bin tissues. To be followed from hand hygiene.
    • Confirm contact details for the patient and each person accompanying the patient and inform them that these details may be used
      for contact tracing if required.
    • If possible, an electronic signature will be used on all of the document, if not a signature with a clean pen, after the hands have
      been sanitized

 

* Patient use of face masks

In clinical areas, common waiting areas or during face to face treatments patients is required to wear a surgical face mask.
The aim of this is to minimise the dispersal of respiratory secretions and reduce environmental contamination.
A surgical face mask should not be worn by patients if there is potential for their clinical care to be compromised (such as when receiving oxygen therapy).

 

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For more detailed information Covid-19 policy click HERE.