A face mask, also called a surgical mask, is typically worn by medical personnel during medical procedures. It is designed to protect patients from infection and treating staff and patients by trapping bacteria and blood shed from the patient’s nose and mouth. The purpose of a face mask is to keep the airways clear for the patient. Although these masks may seem like a nuisance to most patients, a face mask is essential for effective care.
A surgical face mask is generally worn for five to eight hours for each procedure. This length of time is dictated by the length of time that the patient spends under the surgical mask. The purpose of a surgical face mask is to help ensure that the patient remains comfortable and that breathing is not difficult. During the time that a face mask is being used, the patient may experience some discomfort or difficulty breathing. This discomfort is a normal part of the healing process. In most cases, an emergency call center will be dispatched to assist the patient in breathing.
Before the use of face masks, the individual was given an oral irrigator, which is used to remove mucus, phlegm and other matter from the mouth. After the oral irrigator is used to clear the patient of these matters, the patient will then be covered in plastic. The plastic should be thick enough that no part of the face is visible. A bandage is then placed over the patient and they are allowed to rest in this position. The bandage can be removed when the face mask is removed.
Many patients who experience pain during the healing process often choose to wear a face mask. The reason for wearing a mask is to keep the patient comfortable during this period. While under the plastic coverings, the patient can feel very uncomfortable. The plastic also allows the patient to breathe normally while still wearing a mask. Patients who choose to wear a face mask need not remove it until they are finished with their procedure. They only need to remove the plastic coverings when they are finished with their treatment and ready to return home. This is an important safety precaution to take.
Surgical masks are typically made from silicone. Silicone is considered a low cost material and can be bought at a local drugstore. The face mask is usually composed of polypropylene or neoprene which is similar to the material used in construction of a bicycle helmet. The face mask will have a mouthpiece attached to one side. It may have an o-ring on the other side for securing the plastic. When the silicone begins to harden, the o-ring will become dislodged and the plastic covering of the face mask will become flaky.
As the surgeon removes the face mask during the procedure, the mask will slide off. It will then fall onto the floor. At this point, a cleaning solution will be applied and it will begin to dry on the floor. It will continue to dry until the surgeon moves the mask to another area of the room and then onto the operating table. The surgical face mask will stay on the table until the cleaning solution has completely dried. If the cleaning solution is left in place for a long period of time, it may become brittle and the face mask can break.