A surgical face mask, also called a sterile medical face mask, is designed to be worn by medical personnel during surgical care. Surgical masks are designed to prevent infections in surgical patients and preserving medical staff by capturing bacteria shed in aerosols and liquid droplets from the nose and mouth of the wearer. The use of these devices has made surgical care more effective.
Face masks used during surgical procedures come in several types. In some instances, disposable plastic handpieces or aprons may be used to cover the nose and mouth of the surgical mask wearers. A clean, sterilized cloth face mask may also be used. Aprons and handpieces are often disposable, since they can easily be washed and sterilized.
When choosing a face mask for a patient who will be receiving an IV or inhaling medicine while operating a machine, it is important to consider several factors. First, it is important to determine whether the mask will be used for airway protection, air circulation or both. If the mask is to be used for airway protection, then the mask should fit comfortably and should be able to keep the nose clear of particles. Air circulation may require a mask that has a higher air flow capacity than a lower flow one. Some common masks that are used for all three purposes are the nasal, cheek and forehead types.
The material type of face mask is also important. The most common materials are neoprene, foam and ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA). Neoprene is the most flexible of these materials, while EVA is the stiffest. Foam is the most popular choice due to its ability to form into a smooth seal around the entire head. However, it must be cleaned thoroughly after use in order to avoid the accumulation of bacteria and other objects in its material. In addition, it can be easily disposable once it has been used.
In public settings, different types of masks are worn based on the hazard presented by the situation. For example, if the patient is allergic to aspirin, he/she may wear a safety mask instead of the standard disposable mask. In other situations, a patient may be required to wear a facial shield that is designed for dust or chemical exposure. In some situations, disposable masks are not appropriate at all because of the danger posed by some patients. In such cases, the cloth face coverings may be more appropriate.
One common cause for contact with these viruses is through touching an area that has been contaminated with these viruses. In addition, handling animals that have been infected with virus can also transmit them. For example, healthcare workers are commonly required to wear masks during a large-scale clean up operation where a variety of pathogens are present. Likewise, healthcare workers who have been involved in the treatment of these patients can also become a medium through which these viruses are transmitted. Therefore, it is very important that all healthcare workers wear durable and convenient face masks that are designed to contain these viruses.