A facial mask, also called a medical mask, is designed to be worn only by medical professionals during medical procedures. Facial masks are designed to prevent infections by capturing bacteria shed from the nose and mouth of the wearer, and droplets from the mouth and nose by capturing bacteria and other microorganisms that can be inhaled. They are also designed to protect the patient by reducing exposure to airborne contaminants.
In hospitals, face masks are used to protect surgical procedures from infection and to provide additional protection during routine patient care. Medical staff may wear a face mask while they perform the procedure on patients, or patients may wear one to reduce contamination in their room. They are also used to protect hospital employees, such as doctors and nurses, from infection and from exposure to airborne contaminants. When used in a hospital setting, a face mask will typically be made of a plastic or neoprene material with a polyurethane coating.
A medical mask can either be disposable or replaceable; the disposable variety can be discarded after use or wiped clean with alcohol or disinfectant. The disposable variety can be placed over an opened wound to prevent contamination from blood, fluid, or other fluids, such as sweat. The replaceable variety is designed to be worn on a daily basis and is not disposable.
In contrast to the disposable face masks that are often reused, replaceable face masks may be disposed of and then reused or washed to remove residual contamination. The purpose of using face masks is to protect the patient from the harmful effects of bacteria and other microorganisms, such as HIV and hepatitis. Some studies have shown that patients who wore medical masks while being treated for hepatitis C were less likely to contract the disease, which can be potentially deadly.
A medical face mask can be used during a wide range of medical procedures, such as dental and oral surgery, blood transfusions, chemotherapy treatments, and many others. They are also sometimes used in the hospital as protective gear for the patients, particularly those that are more susceptible to infection, such as the elderly, individuals suffering from burns, and individuals that have weak immune systems. Some research has indicated that using these masks regularly can help patients recover from some forms of cancer, such as breast cancer, lung cancer, ovarian cancer, and even prostate cancer. Researchers have also found that certain types of cancer, such as kidney cancer of the esophagus and pancreatic duct, respond well to wearing a face mask while undergoing treatment. It has also been noted that patients who have had their spleens removed may recover from the cancer faster if they wear a face mask while resting.
The type of face mask, a patient wears depends on the type of procedure being performed, the severity of the patient’s condition, and other factors such as the patient’s comfort level, and the medical facility’s policies regarding disposable face masks. Many institutions require that all patients are instructed on the proper use of face masks before undergoing surgery or other procedures that require them. For example, it is important to know how to change the face mask when it is time to do so.