Applying a piece of tape to a mask on the bridge of the nose is a simple, low-cost way to ensure people wear it correctly, staffers in an Indianapolis emergency department (ED) have found.
In the ED at Eskenazi Hospital, where everyone was required to wear a mask, researchers recruited 123 patients who were not seriously ill and randomly assigned them either to wear their mask as usual, or to have the mask fastened to the bridge of the nose with a piece of surgical tape. Patients could either wear their own mask, or a mask provided by the hospital.
One hour later, all patients in the tape group were still wearing their masks correctly. In the control group, 31 percent of patients had either removed their masks or were wearing them with their nose or nose and mouth exposed, the researchers reported in Annals of Emergency Medicine.
“Adhesive tape improves patient adherence with universal mask use,” they concluded. This “inexpensive, simple, low-risk intervention … can be applied to any patient mask by any member of the health care team to help reduce the unnecessary spread of the virus.”