A surgical face mask, also referred to as an airtight medical face mask, is designed to be worn during medical procedures by medical professionals. Surgical masks are designed to keep hospitals and other health care facilities from spreading infection to patients and by trapping bacteria shed by the nose and mouth of the patient. The use of surgical masks is necessary for every medical procedure because the risk for infection is great and the possible consequence could be life threatening. Therefore, it is advisable that the mask be used at all times.
There are different types of surgical face masks in the market. They are differentiated based on their composition and purpose. All face masks have been designed and manufactured with the intention of preventing bacteria from getting into the patient’s nasal cavities, but some are better than others. When you are looking for one, there are a number of considerations that you should keep in mind. Below are the different types of surgical face masks currently available.
Pandemic Face Masks – during an outbreak of a highly contagious virus, wearing a pandemic face mask can reduce the risk of infection. The design of the pandemic face mask is such that it effectively filters and captures the air that comes in contact with the mask. This prevents the spread of the disease, even if the person wearing it goes through the entire respiratory process and coughed up or sneezed his or her germs. However, it should be remembered that a single mistake can cause an outbreak and the whole operation may be hampered. It is always better to take preventive measures than to wait for the last minute.
Droplets System – during an infection that involves a large number of tiny bacteria, like the kind that are found in the common cold, surgical masks that employ a droplet’s system may be used. These are made from materials that filter large particles like small insects and are more effective than other types of masks. The droplets trap the small particles on their surface and keep them from going into the air. However, while using this type of mask, it should be remembered that the droplets should not be seen by others, as they may get trapped under the nose and throat. As a result, the person will not be able to breathe properly and might end up developing an acute respiratory illness.
Exhalation Valves – these are devices that can help prevent exhalation from happening. When breathing, the nose and mouth take in air directly and no extra air is needed by the body. As such, there is nothing preventing the particles in the air from getting inhaled and exhaled. However, the process of exhalation causes some amount of irritation and hence it becomes important for the person wearing a face mask to wear one such device to ensure that the air gets expelled in proper manner. Some of the commonly used exhalation valves include nasal cannula and nose clips.
All in all, there are various types of face coverings that help reduce the chances of getting droplets in the air and therefore ensuring that the wearer does not feel ill. While each type of device may differ in functions, what they all share in common is the fact that they are meant to help reduce the possibility of someone getting ill due to the inhalation of small particles in the air. As such, one should always wear a mask and should also make sure that it is regularly cleaned and maintained so that the device can serve its purpose effectively for as long as possible.