What is a Face Mask?
A medical face mask, also called a medicated face mask, is designed to be worn by medical practitioners during medical healthcare procedures. Face masks are designed to prevent infection in medical staff and preventing the spread of disease in patients by capturing airborne bacteria and liquid droplets from the mouth and nose of the wearer. Medical professionals use face masks during examinations, blood transfusions and in emergency treatment. It is also used during other life support procedures such as organ transplants and operating procedures to prevent the spread of infections from the contaminated patient to other medical staff members or to other patients involved in the procedure. Masks are also used to prevent the spread of contamination when the patient is not wearing a surgical mask.
The use of a mask while operating a surgical instrument, such as a laser pointer, or operating any mechanical device, can cause the spread of diseases and infection. When the surgeon is not wearing a face mask while working on that particular device, the risk of infection is higher. The length of time that a contaminant remains below the surface of the skin following surgery is usually an issue. Infections can occur in areas where there is not enough air circulation to prevent the contamination. Therefore, wearing a suitable face mask is recommended.
Face masks come in different types such as disposable, reusable or breathable vinyl type. Disposable face masks are used frequently. These are disposable foam masks that are meant to be changed after every time the wearer eliminates air through coughing or breathing. These disposable masks are available in different sizes to fit most standard head sizes. Since these cloth masks can be reused many times, they are economical and convenient alternatives to disposable foam ones.
Reusable surgical masks, also called clean air, are made of polypropylene material and are intended for continuous airflow for some hours after surgery or during exogenously breathed periods. During exogenously breathed periods, a new disposable plastic strip is used to breathe. A small quantity of fresh air is introduced into the patient’s airway through the strip. Since these surgical masks are meant to be reused, an important aspect is the design of the strips to allow air exchange but prevent the entry of foreign matter into the patient’s respiratory system. This design is different from disposable ones in that it does not require the use of disposable strips.
Clean air face masks called “Covid-19 Pandemic” are made by Snore Guard International. The manufacturer has incorporated technologies such as the airtight sealing of the breathing airways, the airway dilation control and the use of anti-microbial aerosol for controlling the spread of bacteria. The clean-air face mask is ideal for individuals who are often exposed to higher levels of bacteria than at home or in the office. The size of this type of face mask is smaller than the normal face mask and also lightweight.
It is important to note that even if the right device is used to reduce the level of airborne dust and thereby minimize the risk of infections, patients should avoid using other recreational or work related aids until their eyes and nasal cavities have recovered from the effects of the procedure. A surgical mask may be the only practical method of controlling the number of small particles in the air. In the case of larger particles such as dirt and pollen, there is the option of air purifying masks that can be worn to address this issue. However, patients should seek to minimize the impact of airborne dust on their health.