Preprint Review Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Facial Protection in the Era of COVID-19: A Narrative Review

Version 1 : Received: 28 May 2020 / Approved: 31 May 2020 / Online: 31 May 2020 (15:02:43 CEST)

How to cite: Li, D.T.S.; Samaranayake, L.; Leung, Y.Y.; Neelakantan, P. Facial Protection in the Era of COVID-19: A Narrative Review. Preprints 2020, 2020050470 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202005.0470.v1). Li, D.T.S.; Samaranayake, L.; Leung, Y.Y.; Neelakantan, P. Facial Protection in the Era of COVID-19: A Narrative Review. Preprints 2020, 2020050470 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202005.0470.v1).

Abstract

We live in extraordinary times, where COVID-19 pandemic has brought the whole world to a screeching halt. Tensions and contradictions that surround the pandemic ridden world include the availability, and the lack thereof, various facial protection measures to mitigate the viral spread. Here, we comprehensively explore the different type of facial protection measures, including masks, needed both for the pubic and the health care workers (HCW). We discuss the anatomy, the critical issues of disinfection and reusability of masks, the alternative equipment available for the protection of the facial region from airborne diseases, such as face shields and powered air purifying respirators (PAPR), and the skin-health impact of prolonged wearing of facial protection by HCW. Clearly, facial protection, either in the form of masks or alternates, appears to have mitigated the pandemic as seen from the minimal COVID-19 spread in countries where public mask wearing is strictly enforced. On the contrary, the healthcare systems, that appear to have been unprepared for emergencies of this nature, should be appropriately geared to handle the imbalance of supply and demand of personal protective equipment including face masks. These are two crucial lessons we can learn from this tragic experience.

Subject Areas

coronavirus; COVID-19; facial protection; masks; PAPR

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