Surgical masks, also called an operating face mask, is an important personal protective equipment worn during many medical procedures by health care workers. Although these masks are worn for the sake of protecting the wearer’s eyes, nose and mouth, many people wonder what purpose they have other than to be uncomfortable. Surgeons commonly utilize these masks during open-heart surgery or during the time that an open-heart surgery is performed on a patient. They are also frequently used during the first portion of a cardiac arrest or in order to prevent the possibility of brain damage during open-heart surgery. Because of their importance, these devices need to be comfortable as well as durable. If the surgical mask does not meet these standards, it can lead to discomfort or even serious injury to the wearer.
When selecting a disposable plastic surgical mask or one that will persist for the duration of a patient’s stay at the hospital, the first consideration should be filtration efficiency. This means that the mask has to contain a high level of disposable aluminum or titanium, which is effective in removing large particles and particulates from the air. The effectiveness of these materials also comes into play during cold weather when large amounts of airborne particles are released into the air. A good set of disposable masks will feature a dual filtration system consisting of a nosepiece and chin strap. With these two components, a patient’s breathing can be safely restricted during severe cold weather conditions, which is an essential protection during surgical procedures.
Another key factor to consider is the proximity of the nose and mouthpieces to the surgical masks. In situations where breathing is limited due to the presence of large foreign objects or respiratory droplets, the proximity of the nose and mouthpieces to these areas needs to be maximized. The optimal distance is about one hand’s width above the wearer’s chin. This will ensure that these vital pieces of equipment are not in the way while the person is trying to breathe in and out. In this way, the risk of injury to the wearer is greatly reduced.
It is also imperative that the right surgical masks are worn during various types of surgeries. When a patient is under general anesthesia, it is common for a nurse to wear a face mask while administering nitrous oxide or IV fluids. However, there are situations where the need for a surgical mask is more pressing. These situations include those where the patient has large-particle droplets in the nasal route, where the nasal cavity is blocked by nasal polyps, or where a person has a severely damaged trachea due to extensive bleeding.
While it may seem that the need for disposable-sized, disposable-filtered masks is an afterthought, the importance of public health is not to be underestimated. These masks have proven to be extremely useful in the fight against deadly diseases like flu and other viruses. Although it is still impossible to completely eliminate biological contamination, they can at least greatly reduce the amount of airborne particles that enter the respiratory tract. Thus, disposable-filtered surgical masks have become essential to public health officials all over the world.
Disposable surgical masks may have their disadvantages, but there are plenty of benefits as well. With this being said, it is important to note that some benefits may outweigh any negatives that exist. For example, since splashes are so easy to prevent by using a face shield, wearing one will minimize the risks of splashes. Also, since they are so easy to clean after use, this may be a great choice if you work in an environment where germs are always a problem.