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How Long Can I Use One Surgical Mask for?



Although the coronavirus vaccine is right around the corner for most, you still need to take active measures to take care of yourself and remain protected against the spread of the virus. Most people want to know just how long they can wear their masks without losing functionality and decreasing their safety level. Here is all you need to know about the length of time you should be wearing your masks and what to look out for that indicates that it’s probably time to throw your mask away for good.

Choose Extended Use over Reuse 

The length of time to wear your face mask depends on the amount of accidental touching and associated risk of contact transmission. It also depends on how well your mask has maintained its fit and function over time. Generally speaking, extended use is recommended over reuse, because this suggests that less touching and risk of contamination has occurred for the duration of time the mask is being worn. It is challenging to come up with an exact time frame for how long to wear one disposable face mask, but the general rule of thumb is not to exceed thirty minutes at a time. The best masks are typically disposable masks, so reapplication is not an intended part of their design and function.

What is the Average Surgical Mask Wear-Time? 

To minimize your risk of spreading contaminates, avoid touching your surgical mask, your eyes, and your face with your hands or your gloves if you are wearing them. Throw out your used mask into a lined trash can after every thirty minutes pass by to avoid spreading contaminants. If you notice that your surgical mask has gotten wet before the thirty-minute mark is over, it’s a good idea to remove the mask and then apply a new mask in its place. Although thirty-minutes is the general recommended wear time, they’re technically good for around eight hours of wear time. After this more extended period, you need to throw out your mask or put it through heavy sterilization. The longer you wear a mask, the wetter it will become, and it will start to degrade, impacting its function and protective capacity.

What are Surgical Face Masks? 

There are many different kinds of masks available, but we are focusing specifically on surgical masks. Surgical face masks are a specific kind of safety face covering that is designed to be loose-fitting and offer a physical barrier between the user’s mouth and nose from the contaminants in their surroundings. Face masks considered to be surgical masks are typically made up of three layers. The outer layer is a non-woven, protective shield and the inner layer is an absorbent layer that catches particles in its material. The middle layer helps to reject particles attempting to enter into the mask. It also acts as a shield. Most surgical masks are reserved for the healthcare setting, but they are available for public purchase, especially by online retailers.

How Can I Test its Functionality? 

If you think it might be time to get a new mask, consider putting your mask through the breath test. Basically, you hold up a candle, light it, and blow the candle out (or attempt to) while wearing your mask. If the flame does not extinguish, then your mask is most likely still in good condition. If the flame goes out, it’s possible that your mask cannot filter air particles as consistently as it did at first, suggesting that it may be time to replace it with a new one. This is a nice trick to rely on if you are unsure how long you have been wearing the same mask. However, the safest course of action is to keep track of how long you’ve been wearing your mask so that you can follow along with the thirty-minute rule or eight-hour window rule.

How Can I Wear My Mask for Longer? 

To wear your mask for as long as possible, look for those that offer more layers. Some surgical masks even provide four layers of protection. The more layers involved, the greater you are protected from splashes and scatters of contaminants. The longer you can stay protected, the longer you can wear your mask. Additionally, always make use of the metal pong inside the seam and mold it to the shape of your nose’s bridge. In doing this, you will get the safest and most snug fit possible, ensuring that air particles are not getting in through your mask because of its looseness. Keeping air particles away for longer will allow you to stick with the same mask for an extended period of time. Still, surgical masks are considered to be disposable masks, so you want to avoid wearing them for more than one eight-hour period of single-use.

Use Your Best Judgment 

Sticking by the timeframes suggested is an excellent way to ensure that you are taking safety seriously. Always consider your mask’s state, as it may be time to change masks if yours is soiled before the timeframe is up. If you find that the material or ear loops are loosening, you may also want to put on a new mask to ensure that you’re getting the best fit possible. The amount of time you spend touching your mask and adjusting it will also interfere with how well the mask will hold up over time. Try your best to avoid adjustments unless absolutely necessary. Remember to wash your hands frequently so that when you do make adjustments, you’re less likely to spread contaminants to your face from any surfaces you’ve touched throughout the day.

The length of time you wear your mask will depend on your mask’s state and how frequently you interfere with its positioning on your face. Stick to the thirty-minute increment rule or extend your use to one eight-hour window before changing masks. If you follow these general guidelines, you are doing all you can to stay safe against potential exposure.

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Understanding the Reasons Behind Emergency Room Errors and What to Do When They Happen




Recent studies show that medical errors are among the most common causes of injuries and fatalities in the United States. Additionally, they show that about 16% of all patients who visit the emergency room are victims of medical errors. These errors can occur elsewhere in a hospital or healthcare setting, but we will explore why they happen in emergency rooms specifically. 

Frequent Interruptions Coupled with a Chaotic Environment

The emergency room is very different from other healthcare settings because doctors have to deal with frequent interruptions and are often working with incomplete or incorrect information. The chaos many doctors have to deal with in such settings, which are usually fast-paced in their nature, can also lead to information processing errors, which is especially true in cases where there are a lot of interruptions.

Communication Problems

These types of issues are very common in emergency rooms due to their chaotic and fast-paced nature. Issues leading to medical errors in emergency rooms can occur in both written and verbal communication and between different types of healthcare professionals. 

These problems can be further compounded by doctors who rely on written communication and where there is inadequate information to that end. If other healthcare professionals communicate poorly and doctors have incomplete or incorrect information, there is a significant risk of medical errors. 

Human Error

Even with the right procedures, processes, and policies in place, people can ignore them or not follow them fully, especially in a fluid environment such as an emergency room. An example is the poor documentation we have mentioned above or mislabeling of specimens which leads to a diagnosis going to the wrong person.

Knowledge-based errors can also occur in cases where a healthcare professional has inadequate training or knowledge to provide the required level of care. This can lead to errors or oversight, sometimes rising to the level of medical malpractice.

Patients with Abnormal Complaints

Abnormal complaints can throw doctors off which makes them start looking for a condition or illness in the wrong place. This is why people who come to emergency rooms with such complaints form a significant percentage of people who are victims of medical errors.

To avoid this, it is best to call in specialists who might be able to link these abnormal complaints to the right diagnosis. Healthcare professionals should also do as many tests as possible to ensure that the doctor is right when they make a diagnosis. 

What to Do in Case of Emergency Room Medical Errors

If a medical error causes serious injury or death, you or a loved one could be entitled to compensation should you open a wrongful death or medical malpractice suit. It is important to contact attorneys with experience handling claims for emergency room errors so you can hold an individual or institution liable for the damage that has occurred.

Healthcare professionals can do more to protect their patients from emergency room medical errors by understanding why they happen. Individuals and their loved ones are also entitled to compensation if a healthcare processional’s negligence leads to serious injury or death.

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The Side Effects of Radiotherapy on the Throat




Radiation therapy is a common treatment for cancer, but it can also have side effects that affect the throat. This article will discuss how the throat is impacted and how to manage the side effects of treatment.

Dryness and Irritation

One of the most prevalent side effects of radiotherapy on the throat is dryness and irritation. The radiation can cause drying and cracking in the mucous membranes that line the throat. This can lead to pain and burning sensations when speaking, swallowing, or eating. It may also become difficult to keep food down due to discomfort. To help alleviate this symptom, patients should try drinking plenty of fluids throughout their treatment process and use a humidifier in their home to moisten mucus membranes.


Another potential side effect of radiotherapy on the throat is swelling in the area where radiation is being administered. This swelling typically lasts several weeks after radiation treatments have ended, during which time swallowing can be difficult or painful, as food may get stuck in the swollen parts of the throat. To deal with these issues, doctors will often prescribe steroids or anti-inflammatory medications to reduce pain and inflammation associated with swelling in the throat area.


Since radiation treatments specifically target cells that are rapidly growing or dividing, they can damage healthy cells as well as cancerous ones, leading to nausea and vomiting as a result of both the physical and psychological stress caused by treatments. To combat these symptoms, anti-nausea medications can be taken before each treatment session to help reduce nausea levels and make it more bearable for patients receiving radiation therapy for their cancer.

Hoarseness and Weak Voice

Another potential side effect caused by radiotherapy on the throat is hoarseness or a weak voice due to damage caused by radiation or swelling from treatment sessions. This puts pressure on vocal cords resulting in difficulty speaking normally or at all in some cases. Speech therapy may be recommended for hoarse or weak voices caused by radiotherapy. Medications such as corticosteroids may help. These reduce inflammation and restore normal functioning within vocal cords that have been damaged by radiation exposure during cancer treatments.

Difficulty Swallowing

Difficulty swallowing is another very common issue experienced by those who have undergone radiation therapy for cancer in or around their throats, particularly if they had existing medical conditions such as a stroke prior to beginning radiation treatments. Radiation treatment will complicate things further by making swallowing more challenging due to either physical impairments caused by the strokes combined with damage inflicted upon nerves endings directly related to the muscular control essential for swallowing. It can also make it difficult to ingest any food and beverages on a regular basis without feeling discomfort. Thickening gels can help manage dysphagia symptoms; patients can use SimplyThick gel for thickening food and beverages.

Radiotherapy has many potential side effects when used to treat cancers in and around the throat area but not all people experience the same issues. 

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4 Ways Seniors Can Stay Active




Are you a senior who is living a rather sedentary lifestyle? Do you often find yourself going days, even a full week with little to no physical activity? It’s a common issue that many seniors face but it can be very detrimental to their overall health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 28% of people age 50 and older live a physically inactive lifestyle. What’s even more alarming is that inactivity can increase a person’s risk of developing many health issues such as heart disease, depression, cardiovascular disease, reduced mobility, memory lapses, lowered life expectancy and more.

If you’re a senior who recognizes the importance of activity but aren’t sure how to introduce it into your lifestyle, here are some solutions that can help.

Walking Is Often the Best Place to Start

You may be under the impression that you need to engage in high-impact exercise to gain any type of results, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. One of the best exercises for seniors is walking. There’s no need to jog or even speed walk; just pick a pace that is comfortable and safe for you. The key is to make it a regular activity – daily – as that’s how you get results.

Walking can be done indoors or outdoors, whatever you prefer. You may want to purchase a wearable fitness tracker to count steps and track other health parameters. Many people find this helps them set daily fitness goals and make sure they are meeting them.

Join a Senior Sports or Activity Club

Most cities and towns have organized senior sports and activities that can also get you up and moving. The nice thing about these clubs is that there is a social aspect involved, so you’ll be working out your body while feeding your mind with fun and engaging experiences. It’s a great way to meet other seniors in your area and form new bonds.

Begin the Day with Light Stretches

Want to start the day off on the right foot? Try doing light stretches in the morning. This can help build strength and flexibility which will aid in balance and overall support. You can speak to your doctor about what the best stretches are for you, and then build a routine.

Assisted Living Facilities Can Offer a Wide Array of Activities

Sometimes the best solution is to consider moving to an assisted living facility for seniors. These types of facilities excel in offering active senior living options, providing residents with an array of engaging activities. There is typically a daily program offered to residents that is geared to exercise their body and mind – keeping them healthy in every sense. And because it is an assisted living facility, the programs are designed for them to be able to do, meaning nothing will be too hard or strenuous for them.

The fact is that living a sedentary lifestyle is one of the worst things seniors can do for their physical and mental well-being. Turning things around is possible as long as you prioritize daily activities.

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