A surgical face mask, also called a facial mask, is designed to be worn by medical practitioners during surgical procedures. Surgical masks are designed to prevent infections from infecting personnel and patients by collecting bacteria shed from the nose and mouth of the wearer. It is worn close to the skin, but lower than the eye level to allow easy wiping of sweat and secretions. It is also necessary to cleanse the face before surgery and post-operative as well as to eliminate bacteria and allergens that can spread through the use of surgical gloves. In general, a surgical mask is used to protect the eyes from infections and protect the skin against irritations.
During surgical procedures, face masks are usually worn with an airtight disposable plastic bag placed over the face to keep them from getting contaminated. Face masks are commonly used for patients undergoing ear, nose and throat surgery, corneal abrasions and cosmetic surgeries. These bags are often replaced by a clean gown instead. Face masks are rarely worn during blood transfusion or other life saving techniques.
An airtight mouthpiece called a nasal mask is also used during operations. It prevents contaminants, such as dust, from entering the nose and preventing mucus from clogging the nose and mouth. They are often worn by nurses or other medical staff to protect their own health and prevent spreading infections to patients they are administering care to. When used for patients with a cold or respiratory illness, a nasal mask requires a prescription from a doctor because it is meant to cover the nose and mouth.
Face masks are regularly worn in public settings, but their purpose is not to prevent infection or irritate the skin. Masks are typically worn in day care centers where there are children. The use of cloth face coverings in day care settings has been banned due to the fact that they can easily catch on clothing and become a breeding ground for germs. Cloth face coverings can be a source of infection in children who do not wear protective masks.
The purpose of a face mask is not only to protect others, it is also to protect the face. They are meant to prevent debris, such as dirt or food particles, from entering the nose or mouth. Masks are worn correctly at all times to ensure that the face is protected even while in a highly busy or noisy environment. The face mask should always fit tightly and be kept clean at all times to prevent the face mask from becoming dirty and releasing bacteria and germs into the air.
A surgical face mask is required for all patients that undergo any type of surgical procedure. They should also be worn properly when patients undergo dental procedures as well as those that suffer from any type of breathing illness. Masks are worn incorrectly and can cause more harm than good. To protect yourself and others, always wear a surgical face mask during all surgical procedures including dental, optometric, respiratory and cardiac surgeries.