In order to control covid-19 and prevent its contagion, the use of the mask is already mandatory throughout Spain. However, it is advisable to take a short break every hour or so from its use to take oxygen and ventilate the face, as indicated by the specialists at Vithas Xanit Internacional hospital.
As explained by Dr. Gustavo de Luiz, head of the pneumology service at Vithas Xanit Internacional, “Ideally, from the respiratory point of view, is that every hour, or even every 45 minutes, a short break of five or ten minutes should be taken, removing the mask and if possible resting between 30 and 60 minutes after a day four or five hours of mask”. However, and as the doctor adds, “despite this, rest can only be done if the regulations on the use of the mask are not breached at any time“.
Nor should we forget that in the case of non-reusable masks, they should not be used for more than 4 hours, and should be changed even earlier if it is damp or deteriorated.
It is also important to store the mask in a suitable and germ-free place while we take a break of its use. It is not advisable to wear it around the neck or wrist, as it could come into contact with a contaminated surface, and we must also avoid placing it directly on the work or restaurant table while we eat, nor put it in your pocket. As the doctor indicates, “The recommendation is to place it on a breathable bag, which can be made of paper or even an envelope“.
Proper use of the mask
Not only is it important to use the mask, but we must try to do it in the right way to be effective.
As Dr. Gustavo de Luiz emphasizes, “it is very important to pay attention to how long we have been using the same mask, since due to its prolonged use without changing it, in addition to losing effectiveness, it can also cause various skin problems, such as skin diseases, generation of fungi, bacteria…”
Time that can be used depends on the type of mask:
- Surgical masks: should be discarded after 4 hours of continuous use.
- Hygienic masks: follow the manufacturer’s instructions, which usually specify how long they are effective. Regardless of this, they should be washed daily, and if they have filters they should be changed every day.
Although due to the high temperatures the use of the mask becomes heavier, the specialist clarifies that there is a wide variety of materials to choose from. “We meet patients who explain to us that due to the heat it is difficult for them to breathe with the mask on and our recommendation is to take the breaks mentioned above and even some more if necessary, but we must be aware of the need for its use following the recommendations as a measure to avoid contagion in a still pandemic situation”.
Another frequent question raised by patients is whether the continued use of the mask could cause sequelae. As the specialist comments, although the use of the mask is an obstacle to the entry and exit of air, the long-term effects of its continued use are still unknown as there is no previous experience, although and as he adds, “despite this, the benefit of these possible consequences prevails since with the use of the mask, along with other measures, it contributes to avoid the contagion of covid-19“.
Finally, the doctor insists on the importance of using the mask: “The virus is still with us and it is as serious as it was a few months ago. We should not relax and continue with all the necessary measures to be able to protect others and protect ourselves ”.
Vithas hospitals are safe hospitals
Vithas’ 20 hospitals are safe hospitals for patients and professionals thanks to the implementation of strict safety protocols against covid-19. Among the measures implemented, the establishment of two different circuits stands out: one for people with symptoms compatible with covid-19, and the other for other patients.
Additionally, we supply masks and hydroalcoholic gel to all people who come to the hospital for any reason. In addition, the Group is carrying out massive virus detection tests on all personnel, who are equipped with all the necessary self-protection measures.
A security that has always been reinforced thanks to the fact that all Vithas hospitals implement the strict protocols of the Joint Commission International, world reference body that accredits patient safety and healthcare excellence.
For more information: https://preparadosparacuidarte.com/