Medical bags are often seen as a “safety net” for men, especially those suffering from respiratory problems.
But for some men, they can be a hindrance.
According to a study by the European Association of Men’s Health (EAMH), men who wear medical bags in the morning are twice as likely to have a respiratory problem as those who don’t.
“They may need a breathing mask and a mask for breathing, but they may not need a respirator,” says Jörg Eichner, a researcher at the University of Zurich.
Men’s hygiene products and clothes often feature medical bags to protect their health.
But what’s a man to do?
While men may have to buy a few extra pairs of gloves to wear in case of an attack, they should also look to their own health to find a solution.
Eichman says: “If you want to be safe, you have to protect yourself.”
A simple solution: don’t use a medical bag.
This might seem obvious, but it is sometimes overlooked.
“It is a common practice that a man may wear a medical mask while going to the restroom, or a man might take a pill and not get an injection in his arm.
In the case of a lung infection, you may not have the medical kit in your pocket to put it on.”
Eichmann says that if a man has an infection that may need to be treated by a doctor, he should be able to use a disposable medical bag, even if it means he loses the ability to take his own medicine.
The problem with wearing medical bags is that they can also be easily stolen.
According the European Union, more than 90 per cent of women and women of colour wear them, but the study showed that in some cases they are used by men as a safety measure.
Women, too, are vulnerable to being targeted.
“Men use medical bags for protection because they are considered to be the most vulnerable group,” says Eich.
Eileen Pinto, a member of the EAMH, says that while some medical bag manufacturers are working on changing the way medical bags are made, the problem is that men are being blamed for the misuse of the products. “
This is especially true for men of colour who are also disproportionately affected by the pandemic.”
Eileen Pinto, a member of the EAMH, says that while some medical bag manufacturers are working on changing the way medical bags are made, the problem is that men are being blamed for the misuse of the products.
“In some cases, manufacturers are making medical bags with a very different design from the one the products should be made of, which is causing confusion,” says Pinto.
In response, the EU has launched a campaign called Medical Bag Safe, which aims to improve the way in which medical bags and other personal hygiene products are made.
A few years ago, the commission launched a programme to train manufacturers to make better products.
This included improving packaging for the products and using different materials for different types of packaging.
But the challenge is that these products are often produced by the same company and therefore, are not always the same.
So what should be done?
For the average man, the main concern is the possibility of being targeted by thieves.
However, Pinto says that it is also important to understand that there is a way to make medical bags more secure.
“For example, there is the use of a ‘smart’ lock for medical bags,” she says.
“The idea is that the device can be triggered when someone comes into contact with a medical item.
So the user has to go through the lock to open the medical bag.”
This could be done using an external device, like a Bluetooth lock or an IR sensor.
Echner adds: “The key is that a medical product should be safe to use and should be stored properly.”
In the future, it might be useful for manufacturers to provide a more advanced feature to enable a medical object to be locked down without the user having to touch it, says Pinsen.
“We also need to improve communication between manufacturers to ensure that the products are not misused.”
But it may not be enough.
For many men, this is a time of uncertainty and frustration.
“When you feel a loss, you feel that you don’t want to get back to the office and do your job,” says Ovidiu, a male user of medical bags.
“I don’t think that is something we should be doing.”