How to Protect Yourself in the Workplace From Medical Equipment Infection
A surgical face mask, also referred to as a facial mask, is designed to be worn by medical staff during surgical procedures. Surgical masks are designed to prevent infections in medical staff and preventing accidental infections by capturing airborne bacteria and liquid droplets from the mouth and nose of the wearer. The use of surgical masks has been known to increase survival rates for surgery and to prevent complications in severe burn cases. It is estimated that surgeries that involve the use of surgical masks are responsible for one death out of every five. The use of surgical masks can also prevent secondary infections and skin irritations that may occur after surgery.
Medical staff may wear face masks in a number of situations. Surgical or critical care hospital staff who work with extremely contaminated areas should consider wearing a mask at all times. Face masks in these circumstances should be able to provide 100% airtight sealing to protect staff from contamination. This will ensure that no harmful infection can spread while staff are operating surgical procedures.
Emergency workers who often face contaminated areas while working to save lives or transporting patients to and from treatment centres should consider wearing a face mask. It is important to remember that the quality of oxygen supplied to patients when wearing a face mask is significantly less than when breathing without one. It is therefore essential to take regular deep breaths when wearing a face mask and to try and avoid breathing in debris that could enter the lungs through the mouth and nose when removing a mask. Emergency workers who have to breathe in contaminated gas or mist should also remove their masks as soon as they are ready. Breathing in mist will not only make it difficult to breathe but it can also create serious problems such as allergic reactions, dizziness, headaches and fatigue.
Emergency personnel who may need to access patient affected by an emergency respiratory incident should also consider using disposable medical gloves. These should be worn to protect the hands from contamination. These gloves will prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses that could cause serious harm to the patient if they were to find their way into the eyes or mouth. If these surgical masks were not used then there is a real danger that droplets could enter the eyes and mouth and cause severe damage. This would obviously reduce the chance of saving any patient that was being operated on and could also compromise the outcome of a surgery that required breathing in contaminated gas or mist.
A face mask can be made from a variety of materials including cloth, vinyl, neoprene, silicone and mesh. Mesh and cloth face masks remain the most popular amongst those who work with such contaminated gases. However, even these can collect debris over time and may need to be replaced on a regular basis. The cost of replacement varies and can depend on the size and materials used. Most surgeons recommend that surgical masks purchased from leading manufacturers are the best option due to the fact that these have been designed to meet high quality standards.
The final piece of equipment used to protect the face from contamination is a special filter that is worn as a piece of safety equipment. Filter systems are available in two forms; disposable and general. Disposable face masks can be collected and disposed of by healthcare workers and can be kept in sealed containers so that they remain safe for use by others. General filter systems are worn at all times to provide continuous protection and are worn before entering the workplace. This helps to ensure that the general public is not exposed to infectious droplets while still in the waiting area.