23. March , 2020

Protective face masks against COVID-19

Currently, the health of society and the spread of COVID-19 have the highest global priority. Containing the virus requires teamwork and efficient protective measures such as the right face mask. With this news article we as ilogs would like to give you a first overview of the purpose of protective face masks. The information has been compiled by us from reputable sources.

STRONG HELP AGAINST DROPLET INFECTIONS

According to an article in the German Medical Journal, wearing a face mask can protect against diseases which droplet infection diseases - which are transmitted by speaking loudly, shouting or coughing in the immediate vicinity. Such masks can also prevent a potential smear infection by preventing people from touching their face with dirty hands.

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) also recommends that all employees in in-patient and out-patient geriatric care wear face masks:

"When caring for vulnerable patient groups in the context of a pandemic, the wearing of a face mask by medical staff is indicated from aspects of patient protection.", state the guidelines on prevention and management of COVID-19 diseases in inpatient and outpatient geriatric care, updated on 23 March 2020.

However, both professionals (medical/geriatric) and citizens should make sure that the mouthguard is correctly fitted so that pathogens cannot enter from the side. The protective mask should also be changed at least two to three times a day. However, this always depends on how much the mask is used and how wet it gets during the day.

INCREASED DEMAND NOW ALSO IN EUROPE

The cultural trend of wearing protective masks in Asian countries already existed before the outbreak of the corona epidemic and now, as a result of the current events, seems to have arrived in Europe as well. Due to the virus, local pharmacies are also reporting increased demand for masks - in most pharmacies, respiratory masks are already out of stock.

A VARIETY OF MASK MODELS

Studies on the SARS epidemic of 2002/2003 have shown that filter particle masks (FFP3 masks) have a protective effect. However, these were not conventional face masks as seen in Asia on the streets or in the operating theatre in general, but special fine particle masks that are disadvantageous for everyday life.

"Of course, an FFP3 mask provides better protection, but even simple mouthguards can intercept viruses, provided they close tightly.", adds Prof. Dieter Köhler, former Medical Director of the Lung Clinic Kloster Grafschaft in Schmallenberg.

Simple mask types are for example surgical face masks. These are actually designed to prevent infectious droplets from the respiratory tract of surgeons from entering the surgical area. Moreover, 1-layer paper face masks are considered ineffective. Particle filtering half masks (FFP masks) are more suitable because of their particle retention capacity and the defined total leakage. However, there are differences in the total leakage depending on the equipment class:

  • FFP1 max. 22%
  • FFP2 max. 8%
  • FFP3 max. 2%

It therefore makes sense for infected persons to wear a mask to protect (vulnerable) persons. Because even breathing air can contain viruses. Moreover, as with influenza, corona viruses are probably detectable in the breath of infected persons.

It is important that the masks seal as well as possible at the edges so that the particles do not seep in at the edges!

WHICH MASKS TOWEAR AND WHEN?

As a general rule, FFP1 masks or equivalent surgical masks should be worn during activities involving contact with suspected cases FFP2 masks should be worn when workers are exposed to coughing fits, FFP3 masks when coughing is provoked, for example during a bronchoscopy. As having a cough is considered one of the main symptoms of the current coronavirus, assisting personnel should use at least 3-layer surgical masks or a category FFP2 protection.

Ilogs currently has access to four high-quality mask models with different categories, which are suitable for the following consumer groups:

  • mobile/ambulatory social services
  • old people's and nursing homes
  • people who are in frequent contact with other people
  • concerned citizens

In addition, ilogs offers additional medical protective gear on request, which is certified according to CE and ISO standards.

Are you interested? This linkwill take you to a detailed list of the ilogs protective equipment.

SOURCES

Altenheim.net, [26.03.2020]. 

Robert Koch Institut, [25.03.2020]. 

Lungenärzte im Netz, [25.03.2020].

Deutsches Ärzteblatt, [25.03.2020]. 

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