Skip to main content

Home Made Cloth Masks For Corona Covid-19 Crisis





Everyone is aware of the shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and the sorry state our health care workers are in without the basic infection protection.  Many industries use PPE but the current shortage with the Covid-19 Virus pandemic is a true crisis for health care.  The types of PPE are face shields, gloves, goggles and glasses, gowns, head covers, masks, respirators and shoe covers.

Healthcare organizations are asking for PPE donations from other industry and the federal government has promised to deploy equipment from the National Stockpile. Americans want to help and many have taken to their sewing machines to create homemade masks and gowns to supply medical professionals.

The British Medical Journal (BMJ) studied cloth masks ( two layer, made of cotton) vs.   medical masks (3 layer made of non-woven material)  in 2015 and compared the infection efficacy of the two. Participants used the mask on every shift for four consecutive weeks. They were asked to wash the cloth masks every day at the end of the shift.

The researchers found that the rate of infection was significantly higher with the cloth masks and they recommended caution with the use of cloth masks, especially in high-risk situations. They also found no benefit from double masking with cloth and the increased moisture actually increased the infection rate.

The study specifically looked at Corona Viruses (SARS, SARS-CoV), influenza, parainfluenza and RSV.  The particle penetration through the cloth masks was very high at 97% compared to medical masks of 44%.  The penetration with fitted N-95 masks is under 0.1%. (not used in this study)

Making a cloth mask for caregivers is a wonderful gesture.  But it does not substitute for medical equipment and will not prevent the spread of Corona Covid-19 or other common viruses.  

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

scintillating scotoma

Nothing like experiencing a medical condition first-hand to really help a doctor understand it from the patient's point of view.  After all these years, I had my first (and hopefully last) scintillating scotoma while sitting on the couch playing "words with friends" on my ipad and watching TV.  A scotoma is a partial loss of vision in a normal visual field.  Scintillate is flashing, sparkles.  Put them together and you have moving, flashing sparkles with a blind spot in your eyes.

This visual aura was first described in the 19th century  by a Dr. Hubert Airy who had migraine headaches.  The visual sparks and flashes are in a zig-zag pattern and they can precede a migraine headache or occur without any pain.   The scotoma affects both eyes and closing one or the other does not make it go away.  Sometimes the term "ocular migraine" or "retinal migraine"  are used to describe this phenomenon but these involve only one eye, not both.  The terms are often …

Do Doctors Make Too Much Money?

An article in theNew York Times says the reason health care costs are so high in the United States is because doctors are paid too much. I saw that and my eyes bugged out. I just came home from a meeting with physicians and hospital administrators and the entire meeting was spent discussing the financial challenges physicians face in keeping their doors open to see patients. The goal of this meeting was to keep health services in that community so patients will have someone to care for them. Not a person in the room would agree that the doctors earn too much.

Physicians paid too much? Lets break that down. A doctor spends a minimum of 11 years in education and training after the age of 18. Many are in training for 15 or more years. They are living on student loans and contributing zero to their family's income until the residency years. At that time they earn less than minimum wage if you factor in the 80-100 hour workweek. When a doctor emerges from training (and believe me…