What is the difference between medical masks, nursing masks, surgical masks, and non-surgical masks?

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What is the difference between medical masks, nursing masks, surgical masks, and non-surgical masks?


Ryanson February 5

The new type of coronavirus pneumonia is very worrying. It is clear that it can be transmitted through the respiratory tract. Wearing a mask is useful, but which mask can effectively block the coronavirus? At present, hospital masks are commonly used in three types: medical masks, medical surgical masks and medical protective masks (the most common N95 masks). They are not "medical masks, nursing masks, surgical masks and non-surgical masks", etc. The use of paper masks, cotton masks, sponge masks, activated carbon masks, etc. also means that these net red masks cannot play a role in preventing the spread of disease. Below we understand the role of three types of medical masks.


1. Medical masks are the easiest to buy masks. They are useful for blocking the spread of the new type of coronavirus respiratory tract, but they are not as effective as medical surgical masks and N95 masks. They are suitable for daily protection and are not suitable for medical treatment.

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This type of mask is called "disposable medical mask" and its implementation standard is YY / T0969-2013. It is relatively breathable and easy to buy. It can be bought by general pharmacies and can filter most bacteria. It is effective for this new type of coronavirus. The disadvantage is that there is no anti-permeation effect, and the effect is not as good as medical surgical masks and N95 masks. It is suitable for daily use in non-infected areas, but it should not be used in close contact with the new coronavirus, and it should not be used in dense places such as hospitals.


2. Medical surgical masks. Effective for blocking new coronavirus, it is highly recommended.

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Medical surgical masks are implemented according to yy0469-2011. The masks are divided into 3 layers, from the outside to the inside, they are waterproof layer, filter layer and comfort layer. The comfort layer is a layer of non-woven fabric. When wearing, the white non-woven fabric is facing inward, the blue waterproof layer is facing outward, and the side with the metal sheet is facing up. After wearing the mask, you must pinch the metal sheet to fit the nose. Smooth your cheeks so that there is no gap between the mask and your face. The specific wearing method is shown in the figure below.

Medical surgical masks are the most commonly used masks by medical personnel. They can be used for contact with patients with common infections, such as colds, pneumonia, treatment of common bacterial infection wounds, and surgical operations. Compared with ordinary masks, this type of mask has better sealing performance. The biggest difference from ordinary medical masks is anti-permeation. Particle filtering must be ≥30%. It is very effective in blocking new coronavirus and is recommended. It is suitable for epidemic areas, hospitals and other dense crowds. It is the most practical mask for medical treatment. In the hospital except for high-risk positions, other staff members can wear this mask for protection.


3. Protective masks: N95 masks have the strongest protective effect, but they are generally not needed and expensive.

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Protective mask implementation standard GB19038-2010

N95 masks are commonly used in hospitals. The N95 mask is one of nine anti-particulate masks certified by NlOSH (National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health). "95" means that under the detection conditions specified in the NIOSH standard, the filtration effect of non-oily 0.3um particles reaches 95%. The biggest holding point of N95 mask is to prevent droplet infection caused by the patient's body fluid or blood splash. The size of the droplet is 1 to 5 microns in diameter. When choosing N95, try not to choose a breathing valve.

N95 masks must be worn when contacting patients with special infections, such as H1N1 influenza, SARS and other highly infectious patients, or new coronavirus pneumonia. For the general population, it is generally not needed. The correct wearing method is shown in the figure below.



4. Precautions for use of masks.

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. Use time: Medical masks and surgical masks must be replaced after using for more than 4 hours, N95 masks must be replaced after using for 6 ~ 8 hours.


If there is moisture or pollution, replace it at any time.

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Wash your hands with flowing water before wearing the mask or after removing it.


Summary: Among the masks commonly used in hospitals, N95 masks have the most powerful protection capabilities, but are generally only suitable for medical personnel in high-risk positions. It is sufficient for the general population to wear medical surgical masks. If medical surgical masks are not available, it is also effective to use medical masks first.

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