How Long Does The KN95 Mask Last

For the past four months, the world has had to change its ways as Covid-19 takes over our streets. To date, in some parts of the world, we still have an influx of patients. And this is why there’s a need to make and buy durable masks or at least have a constant supply of the masks.

A few weeks ago, we experienced the shortage in mask supply, and that’s when the health staff and researchers questioned the longevity of these masks. Although we produce the mask for single-use, when there’s a shortage depending on where you went with the mask, you can either reuse them or not.

The ones we are making nowadays, though, are the kinds you can reuse. The question, though, is, does it work when you reuse it? Let’s find out in the following content.

So what’s KN95 Mask

The simplest way to describe this is that it’s the piece of cloth you use to cover your face. And it will protect you from all the different kinds of pathogens, dust, and other dirt types. They, in fact, prevent you from all the harmful air-bone particles.

niosh approved n95 mask3You just need to use the mask alongside other protection gowns. One thing you will find useful is that the mask can filter out the particles with ease.

Of course, it’s never easy to use it throughout the day since it prevents the comfortable flow of air. You will know this to be the truth if you have had the mask on for more than about 12 hours.

But why does it have the N95 name? The mask gets its name from the fact that it prevents about 95% of the particles.

Nonetheless, remember a mask is just a preventive option. There are other things you will have to do to prevent the disease entirely.

The cautions you ought to take

Before you start wearing the mask, you should be psychologically prepped. Remember, this mask will fit you tightly around your face to keep off all the pathogens. You may have to use the mask for hours, and that’s why you should prepare yourself mentally.

These masks make it harder to breathe normally, and that’s why you need to check with your doctor to find out whether you are okay to use the mask or you have any health issues.

Anyone with the respiratory or cardiac condition should never use the masks.

Remember to check your environment, and if you are in a sterile environment, then you shouldn’t use the masks that have valves. Such masks will expose you.

These masks you are buying you can reuse if you experience shortages, but otherwise, single-use is just perfect.

How long do they last?

This is a question that is hard to answer one-off since there are many variations as to how long they will last. It further depends on what you mean because, for some people, how long they last may mean within the day, two days, or when you are using them in between patients.

When you talk of how long it lasts, you have to know the two most common terminologies below.

Extended use

So extended use means you use the same masks when you’re coming in too close contact with several patients. So even if the patients have an airborne infection, you use the same mask but without removing them.

Often the health workers may use the masks for more than 12 hours.

Reuse

So this refers to the need to remove the mask every time you are not with a patient but wearing it again when you are going to see a patient. So the workers remove the masks and store them then reuse them again.

If you are in a non-emergency situation, you can reuse the mask at any time. We have had this happen in the past, especially in the clinics. But if, for example, you are handling high-risk viruses, this could be risky.

Nonetheless, in case of shortages, you can reuse the masks

Even though the masks are for single-use, you can reuse them as long as they did not lose their filtration ability. Also, you can only reuse it a few times and not for days. This is what we call limited reuse.

You have to check that the mask is in good condition, it fits you right, and it’s breathable. So you should always check the seal before you wear it again.

Not every hospital or everybody should practice reuse or extended use because it only depends on the level of risk you are going to. If you don’t consider the level of risk you are visiting in the hospital, then you could subject yourself to too much damage.

In any case, the most preferred method is the extended use over the reuse just because it keeps you much safer. If you are going to use this mask continuously, you should use it for about 8 hours.  Remember, though that how long you are going to use the mask depends solidly on the hygiene level of the hospital you are in.

This refers to how exposed you are too high-risk zones. So we would be misleading you if we said you are supposed to use it for a certain number of hours.

Remember, there’s too much risk, and so many factors will determine whether you should reuse it or not.

Bottom-line, if you are going to reuse the mask or have it on for the extended time you must take all the precautions. One thing is, you need to keep off the inner parts of the mask by all means. Notice that if you contaminate the inner surface, then you will have caused diseases for yourself.

Never put the mask on the exposed surface as they will cause cross-contamination. In fact, how exposed the mask will determine best how long you expect it to last.

The mask rotation

This is another concept you may use to keep the masks lasting long. So you will need to rotate the number of masks you use in a day. This means that you use the mask and then expose it under fresh air to let the viruses die.

That works because the virus takes only four days on the mask. After that, then you can use the same masks you had used previously. Remember, there’re still so many things you have to put into consideration.

Albeit, if you were in a high-risk zone, you should avoid this method as it could make you contaminate the mask and contract the disease.

Let’s talk of decontamination

This is the other important fact that will determine how long the mask lasts. It doesn’t matter which kind of KN95 mask and material you have; this method will work to make sure you at least prolong the lifespan.

So you can use the heat to kill all the viruses. It also preserves the mask’s efficiency as it kills viruses. This technique is from the fact that your body will fight viruses when it gets the temperature high. So once you subject it to high heat, you can get rid of the virus.

Sometimes you can subject the mask to high UV treatments. This will then keep the mask safe for use. Some people have, in the past, used even the hydrogen peroxide modalities to keep the mask safe for use.

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Remember

How long the mask lasts will depend mainly on how you use them.

Remember, if you are going to a high-risk zone for those with COVID 19, you should never reuse the mask, let alone extend its use. Obviously, if you are in a safe zone, you are most likely going to reuse the mask too.

You should only reuse the mask if you can decontaminate the mask. Other than that, it doesn’t make sense to cause more diseases.

As we have talked about this in the previous blogs, take care of your beard. Ensure you shave it clean before you go to wear the masks. This will allow for better fitting of the mask. Otherwise, the viruses can easily stick on your beard or have room to go into your mouth and nose.

Check the seal of the mask. Unless you are sure you have the perfect seal for the mask; it’s not necessary to wear the mask. Remember to wear the mask right without allowing them to remain loose. If it’s loose, then you let in the bacteria and virus.

Lastly, there’s massive information on how to wear the mask right, check the videos online for guidance.

Remember, you are not supposed to touch the mask, as this may just lead to cross-contamination.

Wash your hands and disinfect it as frequently as you can. This will make sure you are safe.

When you are going to wear the mask, make sure you wash the hands fast. Ensure the seal is still intact to keep you safe.

If you remember to use it safely, then it will serve you longer and keep you safe.

In summary

These masks are designed for a single-use. This guarantees safety, but if you have to reuse them, you may contract the disease. Only reuse when ultimately inevitable. Don’t reuse it more than five times.

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