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Public Making Masks

Disasters   (483 Views | 11 Replies)

8,169 Profile Views; 1,250 Posts

I was wondering what everyone feels of the Crafty moms world making fabric masks for us?
While I understand people’s wants and desires to help, I do not feel that these are acceptable alternatives. We might as well go in with no masks. I’d personally rather use my N95 for a week straight than a mask that offers virtually no protection.

This shines a light on how the public truly has no understanding of virus transmission and how our medical protective gear works. I’ve heard the comments well, something is better than nothing, but it is truly nothing when the particles can get through.

What scares me is that the government feels these are going to be acceptable for us and that Americans are answering the need for our healthcare workers, when they are not.

I don’t want to be rude to people, but I see these posts popping up on Instagram and facebook constantly of people thinking that these fabric masks are somehow going to work for us.

Why is there not more pressure being put on our government to help us? Instead of making masks, everyone should be demanding that we are protected.

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LauRN3367 has 8 years experience as a MSN, NP and specializes in PCU, cardiology.

33 Posts; 468 Profile Views

Hey Lovinglife123!

I am also seeing a lot of this on social media, and you bring up a good point that it seems the public is out of touch with the intensity of masks that we need.

I have found a use for them, I am placing them over my surgical mask or N95. That way, if the mask were to get visibly dirty (from god knows what- the possibilities are endless) on the outside, I would just machine wash the fabric mask.

I think they could extend the life of our surgical masks/N95s.

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CampyCamp has 18 years experience as a RN.

247 Posts; 1,173 Profile Views

This was my thought as well. If thins become so dire that I need to make my own (or comission someone) I'd use a layer of hepa between layers of fabric but not just fabric! It wouldn't have the same filtration factor or the best fit but should minimize. I fear that all fabric might do (if not over an n95) is absorb droplets and hold them close! Most research on homemade masks seems to be for disasters such as volcanoes. Not viruses suspended in moisture.

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pixierose has 3 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Neuro-ICU, psych, ED.

828 Posts; 8,792 Profile Views

I’ve seen it pop up and take it as a way that the public is trying to support its health care workers.

One of the little ladies down the street is doing this. She’s not well off and in poor shape physically but she feels that this is what she can do.

I see a lot from the public that we as health care workers need to be protected. It’s not so simple or else we’d have them.

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FlorentineRN has 38 years experience and specializes in Public Health.

10 Posts; 51 Profile Views

Some of these home made masks are looking promising. I found out online that furnace/HVAC filters come in various levels of filtration. The highest level, MERV13, will filter out some viruses.

One furnace filter is enough to create 8 masks. I think a home mad e fabric mask which has a pocket for inserting the MERV 13 filters is a lot better than nothing. That said, healthcare providers deserve "real" N95 masks and respirators. I hope that happens soon.

I have ordered some MERV 95 furnace filters and I will sew some masks. Might be nice to have in the car for use on social distancing grocery shopping trips.

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1,250 Posts; 8,169 Profile Views

Let me say, I appreciate people wanting to help. But it highlights a point that people don’t grasp airborne transmission. And how this aerosolizes. We have to highlight exactly what the N95 does for us.

I personally don’t even feel the construction N95 are the same as medical grade N95. My husband owns a construction company and has graciously offered me his personal one to use.

I’m finding it hard to make the public understand why they need to social distance. It’s better to social distance than wear a cotton mask. Nobody in my area is social distancing. They get up, ask on facebook which store has food, then run out and fill their cart. Every day.

I feel like our government thinks this is adequate protection for us. And nothing will change until we die. And I don’t want to be one of the deaths.

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FlorentineRN has 38 years experience and specializes in Public Health.

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1 hour ago, LovingLife123 said:

Let me say, I appreciate people wanting to help. But it highlights a point that people don’t grasp airborne transmission. And how this aerosolizes. We have to highlight exactly what the N95 does for us.

I personally don’t even feel the construction N95 are the same as medical grade N95. My husband owns a construction company and has graciously offered me his personal one to use.

I’m finding it hard to make the public understand why they need to social distance. It’s better to social distance than wear a cotton mask. Nobody in my area is social distancing. They get up, ask on facebook which store has food, then run out and fill their cart. Every day.

I feel like our government thinks this is adequate protection for us. And nothing will change until we die. And I don’t want to be one of the deaths.

Well, I am an infection interventionist and I 1000% agree that you deserve medical-grade respirators such as PAPRs and participate respirators such as N95s. I understand.

However if I have absolutely NOTHING, I will try unconventional methods over zero method.

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1,250 Posts; 8,169 Profile Views

1 hour ago, FlorentineRN said:

Well, I am an infection interventionist and I 1000% agree that you deserve medical-grade respirators such as PAPRs and participate respirators such as N95s. I understand.

However if I have absolutely NOTHING, I will try unconventional methods over zero method.

So, my legitimate question is, what protection does a cotton mask give us against COVID? Because to me, the virus is very small and all of it will be getting through. Cotton doesn’t even stop the large particles.

I liked the suggestion of putting them over your N95.

My whole problem comes down to the government and CDC see this as an acceptable alternative. Look at how other countries have so much more PPE than us. Medical grade. And I’m seeing a post from my swim school of a 10 year old sewing cotton fabric masks.

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rnmi2004 has 10+ years experience and specializes in private duty/home health, med/surg.

534 Posts; 5,895 Profile Views

My hospital has put out a plea to the public to make fabric masks for our staff. 😟 Anyone else working at an acute care facility with this situation?

Also would like to throw this out there

https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/5/4/e006577

Edited by rnmi2004

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FlorentineRN has 38 years experience and specializes in Public Health.

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Quote
3 hours ago, LovingLife123 said:

So, my legitimate question is, what protection does a cotton mask give us against COVID? Because to me, the virus is very small and all of it will be getting through. Cotton doesn’t even stop the large particles.

I liked the suggestion of putting them over your N95.

My whole problem comes down to the government and CDC see this as an acceptable alternative. Look at how other countries have so much more PPE than us. Medical grade. And I’m seeing a post from my swim school of a 10 year old sewing cotton fabric masks.

So the N95 or N100 masks are actually considered particulate respirators. all healthcare staff should have been fit tested already upon initial hire at your facility. This was primarily for tuberculosis protection at that time.

Even though I think some respiratory protection is better than nothing, you need to be able to breathe. Some people can't wear the particulate respirators such as N95s because of respiratory disease or facial hair that prevents a good deal. Those folks are better off with a powered air purifying respirators which have a hood and a power pack. These are probably hard to come by.

Make sure your N95 is a good fit. Be sure to bend the nose-piece to make a good deal.

I believe COVID-19 is spread from respiratory droplets, but is also airborne. I am disappointed that the CDC backpedaled on requiring provision of respirators to employees caring for these patients. I think the lack of N95s caused CDC to recommend surgical masks as an acceptable alternative. a bad decision in my opinion.

If you don't have particulate respirators, a t shirt mask is better than nothing, a cotton fabric mask is better. A surgical mask is even better and a respirator is best of all. However, you also need a face shield, preferably a full face shield. Safety goggles at a minimum.

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1,250 Posts; 8,169 Profile Views

7 hours ago, FlorentineRN said:

Face shields are not available. Flimsy googles being used over and over are. I’ve been fit tested many times in my career and know my size.

I fully believe this is airborne like TB. My point is, the size of the virus is smaller than what a cotton mask can offer allow the virus to get through. The CDC has convienently backed off their original recommendations due to a supply problem, not the virus transmission changing.

You don’t see the nurses in China, Italy, Spain, or any other country as little protected as we are. They are all covered head to toe. And here in the US, I’m expected to use a mask that a group of 10 year olds made? There are different fabrics too that may be better for use, but those aren’t coming from people. It’s the 50% of JoAnn fabric specials that are being used.

I wholeheartedly disagree with the point that it’s better than nothing. It is the same as nothing and we should not be standing for it.

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9 Followers; 3,809 Posts; 29,078 Profile Views

Well, one of the national morning news shows had a doctor on who supported the use of cloth masks over regular masks. I'm extremely skeptical.

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