Now that we are amid chaos because of the COVID-19 epidemic, everyone is in haste to protect themselves. All people are in fear of getting the virus. Now come N95 respirator and surgical mask, which is better for Covid19?
N95 respirator, what does N95 stand for?
N stands for non-oil that means no oil-based particles are present, meaning that you can use the mask in the work environment. 95 stands for the efficiency of the mask (99 have higher efficiency, 100 have 99.97 efficiencies). “.3” microns mean the filter of this mask is effective for specks of dust, fumes, and mist. The minimum size of.3 microns means particles and large droplets cannot pass through this barrier.
They say the N95 mask to be more appropriate to use for the Covid19 epidemic because of its capability to filter the smallest particles.
It is said to be the proper mask to use for medical personnel during this period. They are mostly exposed to the virus that may be present in the hospitals. They are also directly taking care of patients that are positively infected by the virus; they do the intubation, and bronchoscopy that is needed by patients infected. Though at this point, it is still not confirmed whether the virus is airborne, the respiratory droplets are in the same way highly dangerous.
The N95 respirator is tight-fitting and can be adjusted according to the wearers face, it covers the mouth and the nose very well.
N95 has a specific length of time they can use it, otherwise if used incorrectly can lessen its effectiveness for filtering microorganisms and particles.
N95 respirator is fluid resistant.
N95 respirators are controlled medical equipment nowadays because of its importance to medical personnel and to what we now call the “frontliners”, they of all people need the n95 respirators.
So, they include N95 respirators in the controlled personal protection equipment.
Surgical Mask – how does it differ from the N95 respirator?
The surgical mask is widely used by people who may have the capacity to contaminate others. They initially design it to protect the patient from the wearer. Surgical masks stop the wearer from spreading contaminants such as saliva, nasal secretions, and other oral secretions. But now, it can also protect the wearer from exposure to microorganisms, oral secretions, nasal secretions, and other large particulates in the air, the surgical masks though is not tight enough that particles and microorganisms can still pass through.
The surgical masks, unlike the N95 respirator, don’t fit the wearer since they buy it free size and you can observe that it has loose sides. What it can only do is to cover the mouth and the nose.
Wearers of surgical masks do so to help them avoid touching their faces, nose, eyes, and mouth.
Because of the difficulty to buy surgical masks these days, some people have gone as far as making their protective masks from scarves or cloth that are sewn, and stacked together to form a masklike material. Others are using an old shirt or even handkerchief just to produce their facial mask. Although wearing a face mask does not mean it completely protects you from the virus, but it will somehow lower the risk combined with good hygiene and basic safety precautions.
To wrap it up, N95 respirators should be used as facial masks for medical personnel and frontliners since they are the ones directly caring for COVID-19 patients. While surgical facial masks are widely used by people of all walks of life nowadays, to protect themselves as well from the virus. It is also advised for those people who may have a mild cough or colds sometimes brought about by other factors such as allergy.
The surgical mask can be bought and is available in the market. N95 respirators are now controlled and cannot just be bought easily if you are not working in a hospital setting.
Many people are getting advised by their government to stop the procurement of N95 respirators or discontinue hoarding the item, this advice is extended so that other people will give way to the hospital personnel who need it the most.