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Face Masks and Their Value During Flu Season

Face Masks and Their Value During Flu Season

Patriot Medical Devices

We know the deal with masks and COVID-19, but what role do they play in the midst of flu season? As COVID-19 continues to spread rapidly, masks are vital in slowing transmission rates. However, they don’t just protect against COVID-19: they are effective in reducing the transmission rates of many respiratory illnesses. The flu, like many respiratory illnesses, is spread through infectious respiratory droplets. Masks prevent those droplets from being exchanged between persons.

Research tells us that those infected with the flu are usually infectious one day before showing symptoms and around five to seven days after they start to exhibit symptomatology. In healthcare settings, surgical masks are used as protective measures between infectious individuals and staff. During the cold and flu season, pre-COVID, some clinics may have even asked symptomatic individuals to wear a mask in their waiting room. Prior to COVID-19, there were many reasons you did not see people wearing masks in the community. As the flu is not a new illness, we have many more medical interventions to prevent complications. However, as mentioned, masks are important in protecting against a variety of respiratory illnesses. Data this year shows that the use of masks and social distancing has had a large impact on the rates of the flu. The CDC reports a historical low of positive flu results, and the United States experienced a 98% decrease in influenza activity when compared to 2019. In part this decrease could be attributed to a decrease in individuals being tested for the flu, but it may also be attributed to the use of masks and social distancing. 

When the world begins to move forward from the pandemic, masks will still play a vital role and can be utilized in both the community and healthcare settings.

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Disposable Face Masks vs. Cloth Face Masks

Disposable Face Mask vs. Cloth Face Mask: Which is Better?

Patriot Medical Devices

COVID-19 left us in need of masks on a scale like never before. Cloth face coverings were the creative and economic solution for many. Being washable and reusable, they allow community members a cheap and convenient way to mask up. Let’s face it, they’re much more fashionable too! So, how do these cloth masks compare to others?

In theory, any mask worn correctly is better than no mask. In covering the mouth and the nose it prevents, to some extent, the exchange of respiratory droplets. However, the level of prevention largely depends on the type of mask. It is important to first differentiate between a non-surgical face mask and a surgical mask. Surgical masks are tested to meet certain standards and approved for clinical use. A cloth-mask would classify as a non-surgical face mask. While there is no testable standard for them, the CDC still recommends cloth masks as a mode of infection prevention in the community setting. The historical use of cloth masks and prior research shows that cloth masks are still effective in reducing infection rates.

While surgical masks are overall more effective, and are considered the gold standard by the CDC, the benefits of cloth face masks should not be overlooked. In reality, most of us are not actually using our disposable masks just once. We’re throwing them back into our purses and pockets, and then fishing them out the next time we need them. This is where cloth masks have their time to shine. We can throw the dirty one we just wore in the laundry to disinfect it, and then pick up a clean one for next time. It is important to note that not all cloth masks are created equal. If you are using a cloth mask, consider the fabric, number of layers, and fit. The most effective cloth mask will have a fabric with a tight weave, multiple layers, and one that cups tightly around the face. This will most securely block your respiratory droplets from contaminating other individuals and surfaces.

If you are opting for a disposable mask, be sure to check whether it is a surgical mask or a non-surgical face mask. Surgical masks will offer the most protection, both for yourself and others. Surgical masks are tested by The American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM). They are tested for bacterial filtration, particle filtration, synthetic blood splatter, flammability, and breathability. Surgical masks are sorted into three levels, ATSM 3 offering the highest degree of protection. If you’re looking for a quality, comfortable mask, Patriot Medical Devices makes ATSM 3 surgical masks that offer the highest level of protection against particles and fluids!



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How do Face Masks Work?

How Do Face Masks Work?


Patriot Medical Devices

At the start of the pandemic, there were mixed messages on whether or not the public should be wearing face masks. This left many wondering if face masks work and why they should bother wearing one. The good news is, they do help protect us! While the guidelines for COVID-19 may be rapidly developing, and confusing us all, we can look to other well established healthcare guidelines to understand how face masks protect us from becoming infected and infecting others. So, what exactly do these masks do?


   1. They keep your respiratory droplets from spreading to others!

The CDC outlines three transmission-based precautions to help stop the spread of various pathogens: contact, droplet, and airborne. A pathogen is the agent that causes a disease, and different pathogens use different methods to spread. Surgical masks are a key protective measure in droplet precautions and airborne precautions. Surgical masks are routinely used in healthcare settings to prevent the spread of infections such as influenza, pneumonia, and meningitis. In what the CDC terms “source control”, they outline that the infected individual should wear a mask to help prevent transmission.

Many viruses and bacteria, such as the ones previously listed, are spread through respiratory droplets. These respiratory droplets are generated when a person is coughing, sneezing, or talking. That’s right, even just by talking! If you are infected, the pathogen can travel through your respiratory droplets and be transmitted to people around you, or they can contaminate surfaces. So, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be an unaware vector of the disease and wearing a mask helps you keep your droplets to yourself when interacting with others.

   2. They protect you from infected individuals!

 In regards to the same CDC transmission-based precautions, specific personal protective equipment can be used to decrease your chances of contracting various pathogens. When viruses and bacteria spread by respiratory droplets, those droplets infect you by traveling into your mouth, nose, and eyes. Wearing a mask properly helps block infectious particles from finding a home in your mouth and nose. COVID-19, in most cases, is believed to be spread by respiratory droplets. Thus, wearing a mask can help reduce your risk of contracting the disease.

Now that we know how face masks protect us, it is important to note that different masks can offer different levels of protection. The American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) is an international standards organization that develops technical standards for many different fields-including healthcare. They put face masks through a series of five tests to determine what standards they meet. These tests are: Bacterial filtration, particle filtration, synthetic blood splatter, flammability, and breathability. Based on specific criteria, the masks are sorted into one of three levels after they are tested. Level 1 offers the lowest level of protection, while level 3 offers the highest. Patriot Medical Devices offers masks that have been tested and proven to function at the ASTM 3 standard. Patriot masks offer the highest level of protection against particles and fluids, while also being comfortable to wear!



Transmission Based Precautions.

Modes of transmission of virus causing COVID-19: implications for IPC precaution recommendations.


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Veteran is First Factory Worker Hired by PPE Manufacturer Patriot Medical Devices

Veteran is First Factory Worker Hired by PPE Manufacturer Patriot Medical Devices

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MISSOURIPatriot Medical Devices, LLC of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, proudly selected a veteran as its first factory worker hire. Patriot quickly followed with a second veteran hire, and is looking for more veterans to join the company. “Veterans put their lives on the line to protect the liberties all Americans enjoy, and we are humbled by the opportunity to thank them in a small way through job opportunities” said Patriot’s president, Tyler Needham.

Patriot was formed to help America rebuild its medical supply chain, after the company’s founders observed the strategic error the U.S. made by shipping manufacturing overseas for its PPE and other critical medical supplies, such as antibiotics and other medicines. Supply shortages, quality issues, and fraud in the supply chain during the pandemic nearly crippled the U.S. healthcare system, hindered the ability of American healthcare workers and first responders to effectively serve and protect the public, and put American lives at risk. Patriot is not only returning PPE manufacturing back to America, but it is also working to improve manufacturing techniques, advance technology, and bring all components of the supply chain back to the United States, with an emphasis on locating those supply chain components in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, thereby creating local jobs and stimulating the local, state and national economies.

Patriot Medical opened its state-of-the-art factory in Cape Girardeau in August and is now manufacturing 3-ply disposable face masks in Missouri with American-made materials. Mask customers include hospitals, doctors, dentists, first responders, schools, governmental agencies, businesses, churches and individuals. Patriot plans to manufacture additional PPE, with N95 masks being next on its list. You can learn more about Patriot Medical Devices by visiting their website at or following them on Instagram at

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Mo. Secretary of State Orders 25k Masks From Patriot Medical Devices

Mo. Secretary of State Orders 25K Masks From Cape Girardeau Company (Patriot Medical Devices)

KSFV12 – Jeremy Ford

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) – A start-up company that produces personal protective equipment recently got its first big order of 25,000 masks from the Missouri Secretary of State.

Face coverings are rolling off the assembly line from the medical manufacturing company located in Cape Girardeau in preparation to be delivered throughout the state.

“Having our first order come from the State of Missouri feels great, and really validates our mission and we’re super excited to be working with the great state of Missouri.”

President of Patriot Medical Devices Tyler Needham, who started the company earlier in 2020, said his mission is to help keep products American-made.

“Our goal is to rebuild America’s medical device supply chain,” he said.

He planned to do that by producing better quality products.

“A lot of our strategic rivals, such as China, were producing a lot of the medical supplies that were needed here in America and our team kind of took it upon theirselves [sic] to work to bring back a lot of that manufacturing back here and especially back to the Heartland,” he said.

The old McKessan building located on Rust Avenue is the new home of Patriot Medical Devices. They are currently manufacturing thousands of face coverings a day, to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

“We currently have one machine, that produces about 40,000 masks a day,” he said. “And we’re looking to ramp up to several machines within the next couple of months.”

Needham said with the State of Missouri partnership, this election you’ll see his masks at voting booths across the state.

“Our elections are critical and we all look forward to performing our say every four Novembers. And it’s really special to be a part of that and allow the polling places to stay open.”

He said soon the company will expand and manufacture more medical products.

“We’re looking at N95′s, we’re looking at whatever products they are currently manufacturing overseas that are just crucial to our national supply chain.”

Patriot Medical Devices is currently supplying face coverings to area business across the Heartland.

Link to article


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Patriot Supplies Masks for Missouri November Election

New Missour PPE Manufacturer Supplies Masks to the State for November Election

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MISSOURIPatriot Medical Devices, LLC of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, has been requested by the Missouri Secretary of State to provide 25,000 masks for polling locations throughout the State of Missouri for the upcoming November election.  Secretary Jay Ashcroft will make Patriot’s masks available to the state’s nearly 3,000 polling locations.  These masks are part of the State of Missouri’s effort to provide safe in-person voting and reduce the spread of COVID-19 during the election process.  “Voter and poll worker safety are very important to the State of Missouri, and we are pleased to protect Missouri citizens by ordering masks from a company such as Patriot Medical Devices that is both providing vital PPE and bringing new manufacturing jobs to Missouri,” said Secretary Ashcroft.  The masks were shipped to the state last week and will be distributed to polling locations prior to the election.  “We are proud to provide our masks to our home state and to be a part of ensuring safe elections here in Missouri,” said Patriot’s President, Tyler Needham.

Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE, has become a common term during the COVID-19 Pandemic.  America has discovered that most of its PPE and other critical medical supplies, such as antibiotics and other medicines, are manufactured in foreign countries.  Exporting our medical supply chain overseas has now been shown to be highly problematic in times of pandemics, wars and other national crisis, as shortages of PPE and other critical medical supplies have put Americans at risk, especially front-line healthcare workers and first responders.  New American companies such as Patriot Medical Devices are forming to correct the strategic error of shipping our medical supply chain oversees.  “We formed Patriot Medical Devices to rebuild America’s medical supply chain and to reduce our country’s dependence on foreign imports in order to ensure the health and safety of all Americans.  We also want to create new domestic manufacturing jobs here in Missouri to stimulate the U.S. economy, and to hire veterans as an expression of our thanks for their sacrifice.  We chose Cape Girardeau, Missouri, for our factory location because of its business-friendly environment and commitment to both education, through Southeast Missouri State University, and healthcare, through our local hospitals, Saint Francis Healthcare System and Southeast Health,” said Patriot CEO, Rick Needham.

Patriot Medical opened its state-of-the-art factory in Cape Girardeau in August and is now manufacturing 3-ply disposable face masks in Missouri with American-made materials.  Patriot has a 12-person team today, but is interviewing for 9 additional workers and will further expand its workforce as it expands its production volume.  Mask customers include hospitals, doctors, governmental agencies, businesses, churches and individuals.  Patriot plans to manufacture additional PPE, with N95 masks being next on its list.  You can learn more about Patriot Medical Devices by visiting their website at or following them on Instagram at

For more information, please contact Rick Needham at (949) 683-4804 or [email protected]