Clarification on use of Facemasks and following Government Guidance
To confirm the College has advised members they should be following the government guidance on PPE especially Table 2 and Table 4.
To confirm the College has advised members they should be following the government guidance on PPE especially Table 2 and Table 4.On the tables, the government has advised the use of fluid-resistant surgical IIR masks for certain situations.
We feel whilst these are adequate to protect the patients, they do not provide the wearer sufficient protection.
Therefore, to protect yourself as well as the patient we have recommended that where fluid-resistant surgical IIR masks are indicated ideally, they should also be FFP2 or 3 classified as well. FFP3 masks filter 99% of particles. FFP2 masks are specified to filter 94% of particles.
NB FFP masks with exhalation valves may not provide protection to other people as they do not filter your exhalations. If you are not coughing or sneezing and thus potentially producing aerosols then the risk of transmission is likely to be low but we would recommend that podiatrists should choose FFP masks which do not have exhalation valves if they are available and indicated to be used on the government guidance during this time. If you do not have access to non-valved FFP masks, then valved masks should be worn with a full face shield if there is a risk of splashing from blood or bodily fluids, or coughing or sneezing from yourself (if you are symptomatic i.e. temperature or persistent cough then you should not be working). If you are working in a sterile environment such as performing surgery including nail surgery valved masks should not be worn at all.