A medical face mask, sometimes called a medical face shield, is an integral personal protection equipment worn during medical procedures by health care workers. It provides a level of comfort and protection to the wearer that cannot be reached via disposable masks or bandages. Face shields are often used during open surgery or during a procedure where the skin of the face will be incised or pierced. These devices are often used during routine checkups or in dental or hospital clinics. However, for those who work in a medical setting, face shields can have several purposes.
In a dental office, the use of a face shield is crucial to protect the nasal cavities from contamination. Dental assistants wear them under their professional scrubs to prevent the entry of bacteria or other substances that can cause serious damage to the teeth and the associated structures. Medical technicians wear them under their uniforms to shield their nose, lips and mouth from the dangers posed by needles and devices used during surgical procedures. And nurses and other medical personnel may wear them to shield themselves from infection as they administer medication or instruct patients on appropriate hygiene practices.
Face shields can also be worn to prevent the spread of harmful germs. While some surgical masks may be designed to allow air to flow through, these devices may block the flow of fluid or blood as they are worn. This can easily cause the spread of bacteria or other pathogens to the nasal and oral cavities. A liquid droplet may be small enough to enter the nasal cavity or other areas, which would cause serious contamination or infection. Using a face shield prevents these small liquid droplets from becoming a hazard.
During standard physical distancing procedures, which occur when a patient is being moved from one location to another, the risk of infection is eliminated if there are no gaps in the patient’s protective barrier. However, these devices must be worn when performing certain types of procedures so that the possibility of infection can still be reduced. For example, a nasal steroid injection can spread infection very quickly, especially if the needle puncture and enters the sinus membrane. Therefore, it is important for physicians to always wear face masks during all procedures that require physical distancing.
Another common situation that requires the use of a surgical mask involves people who constantly breathe through their mouths. In these cases, doctors often place small particles of saline or some other deodorizing agent on their noses while they inject or use their spasmed tubes. Although this method has been found effective in reducing or preventing some common illnesses such as rhinitis, or congestion, it has also been known to cause people to become very ill with the effects of the chemical residue of the deodorant. This type of situation also makes it important for patients to always wear a face mask to their regular medical treatments so that these small particles can be prevented from entering the nasal passages.
These situations demonstrate just how essential it is for health care providers to use the most appropriate face masks when the need arises. Although many people experience no difficulty breathing and are able to manage their infections at home, others will need to be closely monitored by their physicians. Nasal sores are one of the most common viral diseases that are capable of causing death if they are left untreated. Therefore, it is imperative that patients are educated about the spread of the virus and the importance of using every practical method that reduces the chances of infection spreading. This education will help ensure that the most at-risk patients receive the highest possible level of medical care.