An emergency face mask, also called an emergency medical face shield, is designed to be worn by emergency health workers during life-saving medical procedures. The purpose of this protective face shield is to protect the nose and mouth from injury and death caused by cuts and abrasions sustained while cutting or in the act of inserting intravenous devices or other apparatus into the body. While most people would be quick to assume that a face mask designed for the protection of the eyes, nose and mouth while participating in a critical medical procedure, it is a common mistake to assume that any kind of protective mask is designed to protect the entire face.
When one considers the level of bodily injury caused by facial injuries, one should look no further than the work environments of nurses and doctors everywhere. This profession has been in existence for many decades, yet there are numerous incidents every year where staff members or patients suffer serious injuries from improper use of a face mask.
The primary purpose of face masks is to prevent injury to the nose and mouth. However, they may also be used to protect the eyes, face and neck when performing medical procedures such as blood transfusions. The nose and mouth are often the first and last places a person looks when an injury occurs. These protective masks are designed to cover up the obvious wounds to the nose and mouth.
One of the most common mistakes associated with using these masks is failure to wear them during all but the most strenuous activities. When a patient or caretaker is engaged in a job requiring face protection, he or she should always wear a face shield. Those who are engaged in physical labor should never wear their face masks during the process. In addition, no patient should ever attempt to perform medical or bodily activity without wearing their face mask at all times.
In addition to being designed to protect the nose and mouth, face masks should also provide adequate ventilation to keep the face from becoming overheated during procedures and in hot weather. They should be comfortable enough that even those with dry or sensitive skin can wear them and should fit properly on the face.
When the face mask is required during the course of a medical procedure, it is important to ensure that all other personal protective equipment is present. It is also important that the face mask be inspected regularly to make sure that it is not torn or damaged.