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Lung India Official publication of Indian Chest Society  
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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 37  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 323-328

The N-95 mask: invaluable ally in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic


Department of Pulmonary Medicine, P D Hinduja National Hospital and Medical Research Centre, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Zarir F Udwadia
Department of Pulmonary Medicine, P D Hinduja National Hospital and Medical Research Centre, SVS Road, Mahim West, Shivaji Park, Mumbai - 400 016, Maharashtra
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/lungindia.lungindia_339_20

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The present COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the airborne SARS-CoV-2 virus, has highlighted the vital importance of appropriate personal protective equipment for all exposed health care workers. The single most important part of this armor is the N-95 mask. With the awareness that the virus is spread by both droplets and through the aerosolized route, the N-95 provides protection that a surgical mask cannot match. This timely review looks at the special advantages that an N-95 offers over a surgical mask with specific reference to the COVID-19 epidemic. It also emphasizes the crucial importance of ensuring quality masks with a proper fit. Finally, with acute scarcities of N-95 masks being reported from hospitals globally, it reviews recent literature which attempts to prolong the life of these masks with extended use, reuse and decontamination of used masks.


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