Why Face Shields?
As the government guidance has changed, face masks and face coverings will be very much the norm on the public soon. So, now is a good time to consider whether face shields could play a role in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
But what it face shields?
Face shields are personal protective equipment (PPE) that provides a barrier protection to the facial area (eyes, nose, mouth) which have been reported to be the body part most commonly contaminated by splashes, sprays and spatter of body fluids. Face shields are generally not used alone, but in conjunction with other protective equipments.
Face shields reduce the exposure to and emission of respiratory droplets considerably. If you can get comfortable that face shields provide adequate protection of the respiratory tract, they offer you the following benefits over a face mask:
- They provide greater facial surface area coverage than face masks by protecting all the facial mucosal surfaces from infectious droplets.
- Given that the eyes are protected, we can eliminate the need for goggles.
- They prevent you from touching your face. One of the major drawbacks of face masks is that some people will touch their faces even more to adjust the mask and this poses a risk by contaminated hands.
- Face shields are durable, can be cleaned after use, and reused repeatedly.
- Many people find face shields more comfortable than face masks.
- Communication is better with shields than with face masks as your face is visible to patients and coworkers.
- If all of your healthcare workers are shielded, social distancing becomes less important.
- And importantly, this is a device that is diversified across other industries. There is greater availability since the medical supply chain is so stressed at this time.