A surgical face mask, also called a surgical mask, is designed to be worn during surgical procedures by medical professionals. Surgical masks are designed to prevent serious infections in surgical patients and saving staff by preventing splashing liquid droplets on surgical technicians and patients. It is an important item in operating theatres and it helps to protect staff from infections by reducing the risk of harmful fluid leaking onto the theatre floor. A surgical mask is usually sterile and made of sterile material.
A surgical face mask consists of two layers: the inside layer which is the facial exhalation valve and the outside layer, which are the ventilation chamber. The two layers are usually made of either plastic or metal and can have different venting capacities. The face mask has two nozzles that allow for controlled exhalation of air. The nozzles are usually placed in strategic positions to allow for easy access and remove from the face. Face masks with two nozzles allow for full airway clearance, even during rapid exhalation.
When it comes to the design and appearance, surgical face mask is similar to the regular face masks worn by most people. It usually consists of a thin piece of fabric which overhangs the mouth and nose so as to ensure that no air leaks onto the surgical area. Face coverings may be used to further prevent leakage and direct any liquid away from the face. They are available in many designs, colors and materials, which may help the wearer to select the right type of face coverings, which suit his or her personality and facial type.
A face mask may also be worn to protect the eyes of the wearer. Eye protection is important during procedures which involve cutting and touching the eye or nearsightedness. This ensures that droplets of virus or bacteria are not transferred to the eyes and thus reduce the risk of infection. Eye drops are also used to protect the eyes from fluid droplets.
In case of public settings like clinics, hospitals and nursing homes, where there is constant contact with patients and other personnel, face cloth coverings can also be worn. As they are easy to put on and take off, they facilitate quick transfer and clearing of contaminated areas. However, since these garments are generally made from sterile material, they offer little protection when it comes to virus or bacteria transmitted from one patient to another. For instance, healthcare workers may encounter droplets of virus on their face while handling patients. Such clothing also offer little comfort to the skin and can cause irritations and blisters.
As the term suggests, the spread of the coronavirus is caused by inhalation of mucous from a person who has recently been affected by the disease. The virus can then enter the respiratory system of another person through the mouth or nose. It is therefore important for healthcare workers and other such people to wear face masks while working in such environments. However, since most of the infections are caught in healthcare settings, the risk of transmission may be limited to the very few incidents. Therefore, while using face masks while performing work should be preferred to avoid transmission of the disease.