According to the National University Hospital in Singapore, people who are far from medicine cannot wear a respirator correctly even with instructions.
Scientists published a letter in the journal of the American Medical Association (Journal of the American Medical Association), in which they shared the results of a study conducted in 2015 after the strongest smog in Singapore. The smoke from forest fires in Indonesia posed a serious threat to the lives of citizens; there was an acute shortage of protective masks in pharmacies. A year later, in order to prevent a new catastrophe, Singapore authorities handed out respirators No. 95 to all citizens. Since these protective agents are intended exclusively for physicians, scientists are interested in how suitable they are for widespread use.
The study involved 714 men and women who were given N95 respirators with detailed illustrated instructions and were asked to wear them. Only 90 people were able to wear the mask correctly. The rest made mistakes that somehow reduce the protective properties of the respirator: 61% left a visible gap between the mask and the skin, and about 60% did not tighten the nose clip.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the N95 respirator became a very popular personal protective equipment in many countries of the world, it is offered by pharmacies and online stores. Scientists from Singapore note that these remedies are intended only for physicians, and most people do not have special knowledge on how to use them correctly. They also called on authorities and respirator manufacturers not to confine themselves to instructions, but to release detailed videos.
Earlier in an interview with MedPortal, Doctor of Biological Sciences, professor at the GMU School of Systems Biology Ancha Baranova also warned that medical respirators are not suitable for people who do not have special knowledge and skills. Therefore, there is a risk of wearing the mask incorrectly and not even know about it. The expert recommended people far from medicine to use a screen mask that tightly fits the face.