The shortage of respirators has led people to procure or manufacture fabric mouthguards themselves

Päivi Sillanaukee, Director General of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health (STM), told Yle that the manufacture of fabric respirators for nursing home caregivers will begin.

According to the bridge opening, the protection they provide is not the same as the so-called surgical protectors, but they help even a little.

STM's Director General Päivi Sillanaukee told Yle's television news that fabric respirators for nursing home caregivers will be manufactured in Finland.

Photo: Heikki Saukkomaa / Lehtikuva

On the issue of face protection for ordinary citizens, Sillanaukee emphasized the development of civic skills.

- More civic skills should be acquired on how to use them. It protects other people, not the user himself. It happens very suddenly to cause more infections for yourself and others. Social and health care personnel are trained to use these.

At Turku University of Applied Sciences, which trains nurses, mouthguards made of fabric are viewed critically.

- In our educational institution, such fabric or sewn mouthguards are not used at all and are not currently trained. There is no researched evidence of their effectiveness, says Riitta-Liisa Lakanmaa, Training and Research Manager in the field of nursing expertise.

Lakanmaa is also very critical of fabric mouthguards on a personal level.

- Our training focuses on students learning to use high-standard products correctly. Of course, it is probably a question of the future how such fabric protectors will be taken into account in the future. Personally, however, I would not use one.

The mannequins presented face masks at a fashion store window in Berlin.

Photo: David Gannon / AFP / Magazine photo

According to Lakanmaa, the only benefit of a sewn mouthpiece cover is that when you cough and sneeze, it catches the biggest drops.

- Kangashan is porous, so viruses and aerosols get through it. The fabric mask is mainly a splash guard. It creates the misconception that it has a protective effect against, for example, the coronavirus.

Lakanmaa says that he has followed people's different ways of working with face shields.

- The mouthpiece is sometimes taken off the face and can sometimes be in a bag or pocket. At the same time, people are touching different places with their hands, flapping on the phone, for example, and then the contaminated mask is put back in place in front of the mouth.

- The mask creates a virtual security for the person that he is now protected, even though the buttocks that have gripped the mask are now in front of his mouth and nose.

Lakanmaa tells IS how professionals act when putting on mouth protection. In any case, it is a good idea to keep the instructions in mind, whether you use certified guards or masks made of fabric yourself.

Everything, of course, starts with a careful hand wash.

- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. After a thorough wash, dry your hands thoroughly and put on hand gloves. The mouthpiece cover is then worn on the face.

According to Lakanmaa, a very important stage follows at this stage.

- When the mouthpiece cover is worn, it is no longer touched. It is intact on the face until it is removed from the face and disposed of properly.

According to Lakanmaa, after removing the cover, it is good to wash your hands again and use hand gloves. He recalls that face masks used by professionals are disposable.

Here's how different guards work:

The Finnish Agency for Safety and Chemicals (Tukes), the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and the Finnish Center for Safety and Development in Medicines remind in a joint release that self-made masks do not protect their users from coronavirus.

According to the bulletin, at worst, self-made protectors can even be vectors of the virus if proper hygiene is not maintained. Used improperly, a self-made mask increases the amount of contaminants in front of the airways.

However, according to authorities, the mask can protect others if the mask wearer is infected with a virus.

- However, the best way to protect yourself against the coronavirus is to stay at home, keep at least 1-2 meters away from other people and wash your hands with soap and water or clean them with an alcoholic hand sanitizer, the release says.

Authority instructions for self-made mask

  • Remember that the mask you make is not a personal protective equipment. The mask does not protect the user from coronavirus.

  • A dirty mask can be a virus spread.

  • The mask may protect others from drops spreading through the mask's respiratory tract. The use of an asymptomatic carrier mask may be useful in, for example, vehicles, shops, etc., but there is no scientific evidence for this.

  • Wear a clean mask with clean hands.

  • Keep the mask clean: do not touch the mask during use

  • Remove the mask by touching only its fastening straps and place the mask directly in the washing machine or plastic bag. Wash your hands and wash the mask after each use. The mask must be washed at 90 degrees.

  • Remember that touching the mask, for example, increases contaminants in front of the airways. There is more harm than good in an abused mask.

  • During use, the mask cannot be removed or worn around the neck and, for example, drunk or eaten.

  • Make a mask from a thin cloth and use several layers of cloth. For example, a sheet fabric is a good material. Make sure you can breathe well with the mask above.

  • Note that a moisturized mask penetrates microbes more easily than dries.

  • Do not use the mask on anyone. Symptoms of cardiovascular disease, asthma, or COPD may be a barrier to using an oral protector. A dirty mask can cause health damage.

Source: Tukes