An obturator or facial mask is a rigid plastic face mask used in the treatment of facial trauma, during the surgical procedure or for patient care. A facial mask, sometimes called a medical face mask, is an item worn by healthcare professionals during surgical procedures. The purpose of using a face mask is to protect the face from blood and other substances that may be inhaled during the procedure. In addition, it is used during procedures to aid in breathing.
In healthcare settings, the most commonly worn face mask is the nose clip. Narrowing the nostrils allows for the free circulation of air while providing protection against foreign matter that might enter the nasal cavity. Nose clips are often worn during routine checks and evaluations. This is often done by doctors when they are examining patients and cannot get a clear look at the patient’s breathing due to the narrow nasal channel.
Another type of face mask is the wide-band nasal splashes. They are made from plastic, vinyl or composite material and they are designed to prevent large-particle droplets from entering the nose. Large-particle droplets can cause inflammation, swelling, blockage and even infection of the nasal passages. Large-particle droplets are usually prevented by using disposable plastic nasal splashes.
There are also two other important applications of nasal wear masks. The first application is physical distancing. Physical distancing, or the ability to reduce or eliminate the spread of motion of a fluid from one part of the body to another, is necessary to ensure that the surgical procedure and postoperative care will be safe and satisfactory. For example, during the procedure, it is important for the surgeon to be able to see exactly where the incision will make its final placement. Because facial skin is so thin, small particles can get snagged on the side of the mask and cause irritation and discomfort.
Another application of surgical masks is the protection of healthcare workers from airborne particles. When used during the surgical process, they prevent the contamination of work areas by reducing the amount of airborne particulates. In addition, if these devices are worn during the postoperative period, they provide protection against irritants and pathogens that enter through the wounds. Some devices even have an airtight seal, which helps prevent contaminated air from entering the patient’s breathing area. Such devices are commonly used in hospitals, clinics and private healthcare facilities.
Some devices are designed to maintain a “barrier” against the spread of objects from the mouth into the nose. This barrier is often referred to as a “Nasal Cuff”. The design of most devices involves securing the upper ends of the tube to the upper lip or the edge of the nose so that the device cannot move into the throat or mouth. Loose-fitting face masks can allow for easy movement of the chin strap, allowing the wearer to talk, eat or drink without obstruction. However, it is important that these devices be worn for the right reasons and that the patient adhere to all recommendations for proper care of the device.