A surgical face mask, also called an operating face mask, is designed to be worn by medical staff during surgical procedures. Surgical masks designed for operating rooms are highly sterile and designed to prevent the spread of infection. Surgeons use surgical masks made of special materials to ensure that the surgical wounds are well cleansed before entering the patient’s body.
An operating mask for the nose is designed with a thin nasal lining, high at the tip and tapered towards the sides to avoid drawing the eye into the mask. The nasal mask is usually clear so that it can be seen inside the mouth and its purpose is to prevent dust and other materials from entering the patient’s nose. An individual disposable plastic bag is used to collect and store the excreta during surgery. It is important to wipe the nose and eye area clean with disinfectant wipes after removing the disposable bag. A sterile face mask is then placed over the eye and nose before the surgeon begins.
An operating room nose mask is similar to a surgical one except for the fact that the nose is not covered by the mask system. An operating nose mask is used to prevent contamination of the operating room, the surgical area, and the patient. A nasal mask is generally an open nose system, designed to allow air to flow through while the patient is under anesthesia. The nasal system is designed to keep the patient comfortable during surgery by allowing the surgeon to work freely while not worrying about contamination.
If a surgical mask becomes dirty or saturated with blood, it must be cleaned with a disinfectant before covering the surgical wounds. Many surgical nurses or surgical techs wear face masks while performing their tasks. There is no way for them to clean the mask while they are wearing it. The cleaning process must start as soon as the patient is anesthetized. Once the face mask has been cleaned and disinfected, it must be fastened on the face securely with either Velcro or surgical tape. Before leaving the clinic, the face mask is checked for signs of mold and/or mildew.
There are two types of masks, which are commonly used in the medical profession. The first type of mask is the nasal mask which is used during patients that are administered oral medications. This type of mask is designed to allow the nasal cavity to breathe. It has straps around the head to secure it properly.
The second type of mask is the oral appliance mask which is used during the patient’s procedure where he or she is administered as a topical anesthetic. This type of mask is placed directly over the nose and mouth. It has openings on each side to allow the anesthetic agent to seep through to the mouth. An airtight seal is used to prevent the agent from escaping. Both these masks require daily or weekly maintenance depending upon the use.