A surgical face mask, also referred to as an antibacterial face mask, is designed to be worn by medical professionals during surgical procedures. Surgical masks used for this purpose are designed to prevent infections from spreading in surgical patients and preventing unwanted wounds in treating staff by containing bacteria shed in aerosols and liquid droplets from the patient’s mouth and nose. Face masks have three different use scenarios: for the purpose of prevention of infections in surgical patients, for the purpose of slowing down the spread of infections following surgery or infection clearance, and for the purpose of maintaining adequate airflow within the sterile area in which the procedure is taking place. This article briefly discusses the benefits of using surgical face masks for these three different scenarios.
Infection Stops – Surgical or Antibacterial face masks stop the spread of infections from one patient to another. Once the mask is on, the wearer cannot breathe in any of the fluid produced by the surgical procedure. The droplets contain various microorganisms, some of which are harmful, and can easily cause infection to the wearer. As the droplets cannot be breathed in, the chances of infection are greatly reduced.
Sore Areas – During the recovery phase, it can be very difficult to breathe without a mask on. Therefore, if a wound is to be cleaned, bandaged, or opened without proper preparation and exposure to air, surgical wear face masks allow easy cleaning of the area without contamination. Furthermore, the area can be opened gradually to allow all infected fluids to escape from the affected area.
Lung Protection – In the current flu epidemic, healthcare workers are reminded to put on face masks while at work. While face masks to prevent the spread of virus, they also prevent potential contamination to the lungs. Some studies have shown that the lung tissues of healthcare workers who wore face masks while working could be contaminated with bacteria from patients’ bodies. On the other hand, a study conducted in the 1950s did find that patients who were not wearing face masks at work were more likely to suffer from viral respiratory complications. Therefore, it is important for healthcare workers to wear a face mask when in direct contact with patients, particularly if the patient is uncooperative or has a high fever.
Avoiding Social Distancing – Wearing a face mask while outdoors can help reduce the amount of airborne particles that you and your loved ones are getting exposed to. When outdoors, you are more susceptible to getting sick from breathing in the pollens, dust, and other particles. Additionally, exposure to these particles increases the chance of getting sick from airborne diseases such as asthma. However, when indoors, you are less exposed to these pathogens. Therefore, by wearing a mask while indoors, you can reduce your exposure and the risks of getting sick from these pollutants.
Benefits from Wearing Face Masks – There are numerous benefits to using and wearing face masks while caring for yourself, your family, or your employees. However, just like other personal care products and services, there are also disadvantages to using them. Some of these disadvantages include increased sensitivity to airborne pathogens, and the decreased vision that come along with having to wear a face mask in low light settings. Also, while many workplaces require employees to wear masks, they are generally not required to have face masks while being outside on public places.