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Contamination and washing of cloth masks and risk of infection among hospital health workers in Vietnam: a post hoc analysis of a randomised controlled trial
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  • Published on:
    Contamination and washing of cloth masks and risk of infection among hospital health workers in Vietnam: a post hoc analysis of a randomised controlled trial

    Latavia Ward
    4th year nursing student
    Terry Campbell
    Other Contributor, Associate Lecturer

    Dear Editor,
    I understand the purpose of this study was to analyze unpublished data on mask washing and the performance of two-layered cotton mask used by health care workers compared to the medical mask. However, I want to address the statement “Cotton is not a suitable fabric for the outer layer of the masks, as it is absorbent, can become damp and a pose risk of contamination if not cleaned daily´´According to American Ceramic Society Bulletin (2020), Cotton masks are breathable but only blocks 20% of small particles. However, to show scientific measures or proof of differentiating both the cotton and medical mask, it is noted that a combination of filter effectiveness and pressure drop can determine the effectiveness of both masks. To demonstrate, Surgical mask has 95.4 % of filtration rate, 9.0 initial pressure drop, 5 to 5.5 filter quality factor k/pa. Whereas, cotton mask has 5 to 26 % filtration rate, 14.5 Initial pressure drop, and 5 to 8 filter quality factor k/pa. In terms of addressing the importance of washing the cotton mask to be effective and the need to used fine weave and water resistant fibers it is then important to adress those scientific factors such as filtration rate, initial drop and filter quality factor percentage when determining the effectiveness of both mask in the unpublished data.

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    How effective i...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.
  • Published on:
    Contamination and washing of cloth masks and risk of infection among hospital health workers in Vietnam: a post hoc analysis of a randomised controlled trial
    • Tinashae A Heron-Watson, Nursing Student University of The Bahamas
    • Other Contributors:
      • Terry Campbell, Associate Lecture

    Dear Editor,
    The sentiments shared in the article Contamination and washing of cloth masks and risk of infection among hospital health workers in Vietnam: a post hoc analysis of a randomised controlled trial raises important concerns relating to health care today.
    The world’s health care industry continues to grapple with the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic. Globally, this pandemic has created a significant shortage in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). As it stands, the wearing of cloth masks during this pandemic in a hospital setting has ignited significant concerns. According to Bayona and Infantado (2020), “there is no direct evidence on the effects of cloth mask in preventing COVID-19 pandemic among health care workers …” (p. 2). Coupled with the aforementioned fact, many health care workers are further compromising their health, as well as the health of others when they improperly decontaminate these masks. I share similar sentiments with you on the basis that if hospitals have to utilize cloth masks then they should bear the burden of decontaminating them. Moreover, I strongly believe that policies need to be implemented and enforced when the use of cloth masks are required in the hospital. These polices should include the mandatory utilization of the facility’s laundry services and the wearing of cloth masks as stipulated by the institutional guidelines.
    The World Health Organizations (WHO) recently disseminated their recommendations regardi...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.