A surgical face mask, also called a facial mask, is designed to be worn by medical practitioners during surgical procedures. Surgical masks are designed to prevent infection in patients and thus treating staff and patients by collecting bacteria shed by the nose and mouth of the wearer. It can also prevent the spread of airborne diseases like flu and infections caused by fungi, dermatophytes, protozoa, and other organisms. Surgical masks are typically made from rigid latex or hygienic vinyl. The most common materials used for the production of surgical masks are: ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), polyethylene glycol (PEG), and polypropylene (PPE).
Surgical mask use requires that it be comfortable to wear and designed to cover the nose, mouth, and chin. It must provide a tight fit, be resistant against slipping around the face and be able to filter out all external and internal particulates. While some masks have built in nosepieces and mouthpieces, these are not required while operating certain types of surgical procedures. Some surgical masks can be used to protect the patient’s eyes from infection, but they cannot be used while the patient is awake.
In general, it is best to choose a face mask according to the degree of facial impurity that needs to be addressed. For simple, uncomplicated operations, one might consider a disposable mask. This type of mask is often made from polypropylene orEVA and is simple to put on and take off. In some cases, especially those where a patient is allergic to certain ingredients, disposable masks should be strictly avoided; instead, a disposable foam liner can be used in place of a liner for a foam-lined mask. A good example of a foam-lined mask is the Covid-19 that can help prevent contaminants from entering the nose.
Another important aspect of choosing and wearing a face mask is to ensure that it fits well. Improper fit can lead to discomfort or even infection, so patients should ensure that their faces are properly fitted before wearing a face mask. Wearing a face mask in the wrong position can cause irritation, and sometimes leads to the lips or nose being covered by the mask. This problem can easily be solved by carefully following the manufacturer’s instructions for the best fit.
Some devices require that the wearer wear a face mask that acts as an exhalation valve. When air gets trapped in the vents, it forces the exhalation valve up, forcing cool air through the nose and throat. Because most masks have a rectangular shape, the right fit is to ensure the mouth does not cover either side of the valve. Some newer devices, however, allow for the mouth to slightly overlap the device so that a small window opens that lets the air through.
Before or after the flu or common cold, patients should get familiar with their face masks. Patients should be taught how to wear them and how often to change them. Proper care should be taken during the regular use of these devices, and patients can be protected by wearing quality face masks when caring for themselves.