A surgical face mask, sometimes called a full-face mask, is designed to be worn during certain medical procedures by medical professionals. Surgical masks designed for operating rooms are generally made of sterile materials and can be used during any type of surgery. Surgeons may also use these masks to protect their face from other patients and to prevent the spread of infection from one patient to another. Such masks are used in conjunction with surgical gloves.
Medical professionals use face masks during many types of surgical procedures, most of which are elective. Surgical handpieces or face masks that prevent transmission of infection and other germs are used during major surgery such as breast surgeries and facial surgeries. These kinds of prevention are important to reduce the risk of serious infections caused by poor hygiene, excessive bleeding, and lack of proper equipment or preparation. Placing a surgical mask over a face can prevent the spread of the disease, especially if the hands and face were not washed beforehand.
These masks also help to protect the surgeon’s own health while working by preventing the spread of infectious diseases. When a surgical patient uses a face mask, he or she breathes through a single air-purifying layer (usually a cotton pad) that goes over the entire face mask. In addition, one or more layers of a disposable nitrile material may be used on top of the air purifying layer to provide additional protection. This provides better purity and less mucus than the thinned-out disposable nitrile layers used in prior surgical procedures, which are often dirty and had become saturated with blood or other bacteria.
While some surgeons may recommend using a nose mask or a hand sanitizer or both, this is generally not necessary. Masks can prevent dust and airborne particles from entering into the nose or mouth, which can be a significant health risk. Similarly, a clean workstation and an airtight mask can reduce exposure to airborne bacteria and viruses that are present in the surgical area. This allows the surgeon to perform better, safer surgery.
However, sometimes there is no need for a face mask inside the operating room. The same could be true for those who smoke, have ill body health, or are under a significant amount of stress. A nose or mouth mask might be useful for these situations, but not absolutely necessary. Some clinics and hospitals place a small plastic facemask on the nose and mouth, which can prevent people from inhaling irritating fumes. There are also disposable nose and mouth masks available if this would be preferable to a full face mask.
One other situation where a mask may not be required is when one is sick and has to wear a surgical mask. While wearing a surgical mask around people who are ill, vomiting, or in bad health poses some risks, it can also help prevent the spread of germs. Some masks have a built-in deodorant that can help ward off foul-smelling gases. For these situations, a clean, breathable mask may be just as practical as a face mask inside a public setting.