A surgical face mask, also called a medicated face mask, is designed to be worn by medical staff during surgery. Surgical masks used for surgery are meant to prevent infections from infecting surgical staff and patients by capturing airborne pathogens and fluid droplets from the mouth and nose of the wearer. The protection offered by these devices can help prevent contamination of other parts of the surgical area. These masks have a variety of different functions and are used for a variety of purposes. In addition to preventing infection, they also cover the nose and mouth of the surgeon or other medical personnel. The following are some ways in which a surgical mask can help minimize risks and complications during surgery.
Infection and Disease: Infections and disease are usually the result of not wearing a face mask while operating. Face masks block the nasal passage, preventing any contaminants from entering into the patient’s airway. The nasal pieces must be clean and dry prior to each use. It is important that the cloth mask used should be clean and dry before each use. If the cloth mask becomes wet, it should be immediately rinsed with lukewarm water. Failure to do so will allow an organism or bacteria to grow within the liner of the face mask.
Improper Cleaning: A face mask should always be kept in good condition. Using hand or face cleansers, as well as using a hand sanitizer are the best ways to keep these useful tools clean and free of contamination. Wearing clean gloves when working with these devices is also recommended. While operating, the surgeon should sterilize all devices before use. This ensures that bacteria and viruses are not introduced during the procedure.
Breathing: Medical staff must learn how to properly take care of their breathing air tubes during surgery. Air entering the patient’s lungs from the nose will travel through the windpipe and out of the mouth before being released into the air. When a surgical mask becomes dirty or clogged, air cannot pass freely. Infection can result if a tube is not properly cleaned. This can result in poor patient breathing, difficulty breathing or even death.
Exhalation Valves: While some patients are able to breathe without assistance from a hand piece or face mask at all, others require exhalation valves. These devices allow a patient to breathe in and out normally without any external devices. Although they are often required for surgeries that involve only one nostril, some surgeons choose to wear these as standard equipment in all surgeries. In order for these devices to work properly they must be cleaned on a regular basis.
As you can see, there are multiple ways to keep these useful medical tools clean, dry and free of bacteria and infection. Although the technology and importance of these products have increased in recent years, doctors still appreciate knowing the basics on how to best care for them. It can help prevent complications in the future and preserve the life of your patient. By following basic cleaning and maintenance steps, you can extend the life of your face mask and other equipment.