DISINFACTS | Issue 2/2020

INTERVIEW What is important is the final leak check, known as the fit check. This is most important if a higher level respirator, that is, an FFP2 or FFP3 mask, is indicated. To carry out the fit check, place both palms over the mask and breathe deeply in and out. When breathing in, the mask should press slightly against the skin. If the exhaled air rapidly leaks from the edges of the mask – usually around the chin or the bridge of the nose – the mask must be readjusted. Particularly when the wearing of FFP2 or FFP3 masks is recommended, men with beards should consider that hair around the seal will negatively affect the performance of a respirator and increase the health risk. If the wearing of a respirator, protective gown and gloves is indicated, the order in which the PPE items are donned is important. This obviously also applies to the subsequent removal of the items. Without going into too much detail: first, the gown is put on, then the respirator. Finally, the gloves are donned. Gloves are also the first to be replaced, followed by the gown and lastly the mask. And in between, do not touch the front of the mask, do not remove the mask, and do not allow it to hang down like a bib to then put it on again! If needed, the mask should be removed properly and a new one put on. Let’s stick with masks for a bit longer. What errors should be avoided when removing them? Do not touch the outside of the potentially contaminated mask. To remove the mask – with clean and disinfected hands! – take hold of the bottom elastic strap around the neck and then the elastic strap in the middle of the head with the other hand. Now pull both straps over the head towards the front of the face. Then, while holding the mask firmly by both straps, you can remove the mask from the face and dispose of it. What is important when removing personal protective equipment is that you disinfect your hands after each step! Surgical masks with optimal filtration performance and maximum wearing comfort: with the Foliodress single-use surgical masks, HARTMANN offers a range of different masks for single use in outpatient treatment, all surgery areas as well as in intensive care units, infection wards, labour wards and in special care nurseries for premature and newborn infants. ‘In between, do not remove the mask and do not allow it to hang down like a bib to then put it on again!’ Typical masks in the hospital setting Face mask protects others (third-party protection) Respirator protects the wearer (self-protection) ‘If the mask is intended to protect against airborne pathogens or aerosols, an FFP2 mask at least should be used.’ DISINFACTS 2/20 page 15