Study Shows That Not Everyone Effectively Wears N95 Masks

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Heath Editor’s Note: This study was done to establish if N95 masks could be worn effectively by the public and the answer was….no. Surprisingly enough, proper wearing of the N95 mask requires very detailed instructions. The study showed that when the public uses the N95 mask, that does not mean that there will be effective protection against the virus.  Instead, wearing a mask gives a false send of safety. Also, more often than not, the masks were not being worn properly and if the public should/is required to wear masks then there needs to be very effective instructional materials that accompany the mask. Physical distancing, handwashing, and isolating when ill were critical and a mask was only a portion of future protection from COVID-19. N95 masks are recommended for healthcare workers…..Carol   
Assessment of Proficiency of N95 Mask Donning Among the General Public in Singapore
by Wesley Yeung, MBBS; Kennedy Ng, MBBS; J. M. Nigel Fong, MBBS; Judy Sng, MBBS; Bee Choo Tai, PhD; Sin Eng Chia, MBBS
Introduction

 

With the advent of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, mask-wearing among the general public has become commonplace, leading to a worldwide shortage.1 However, there is little data on mask-wearing proficiency in the general public. A single study performed in the US after Hurricane Katrina, when individuals donned masks for mold remediation, found that only 24% of participants demonstrated proper technique.2 Incorrectly worn masks may not confer effective protection against COVID-19.

We conducted this cross-sectional study to evaluate the proficiency of members of the Singapore public in wearing N95 masks, which the local government distributed to households in 2014 as part of an emergency preparedness program3 targeted at episodes of haze. The duck-bill foldable N95 mask (3M VFlex 9105) was selected for ease of mailing and was distributed along with pictorial instructions.

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