A surgical face mask, sometimes called a medical face mask is a specialized personal protective gear worn by medical professionals during certain medical procedures. These specialized face masks are often used to prevent the transmission of infections and other diseases through the skin. These specialized masks are often used by emergency first responders or physicians to protect them from airborne pathogens such as anthrax. Surgical face masks are used in surgical procedures that require fast and efficient movement of a person’s face while they are being operated on. Face masks such as these are also used by members of the emergency medical services and health care delivery staff to protect them from chemical or biological spills in the operating room.
The design of most face masks is generally composed of two layers; the face guard and the face mask itself. Easy Flow Canada, The face guard which can be made from soft vinyl or hard plastic, is often made from an industrial rubber called Covid. The Covid is designed to withstand high pressures and to provide a firm, non-absorbent barrier on the face surface. The second layer of the mask is the actual face mask material, which can be made from a variety of materials. Most commonly, cloth, vinyl, or neoprene are used in face mask materials.
The purpose of face masks is to prevent the entry of infectious organisms and infectious waste products through the skin into the circulatory system. This is often accomplished through a tight seal around the nose and mouth openings. Some face masks contain small valves at the edge that allow contaminated air to be released without causing an odor. This type of face mask is used in situations where the danger of aerosol spreading is a concern, such as in the emergency room or surgical situations.
Pandemic preparation and maintenance include a well designed and maintained face mask. Face masks designed for pandemic preparedness are designed to restrict the transfer of potentially pathogenic or toxic microorganisms or their byproducts into the blood stream through the nose and mouth. Proper handling, storage and use of face masks for pandemic preparation or maintenance are critical to preventing disease and minimizing risks of exposure.
Wearing face masks while washing the hands and arms has been identified as a cause of increased bacterial contamination. Washing one’s hands or arms using a plastic bag has been found to reduce the risk of infection by up to 70%. To care for a plastic bag, use an approved cleaner and dry the bag in hot water using a hair dryer. Avoid the use of abrasive personal care products and scrubbing sponges on the bag. Once cleaned and dried, store the bag in a clean, closed plastic bag and immediately throw the plastic bag into a sealed clean container.
As a safe and effective method of protecting the health of the wearer, healthcare settings are well advised to wear face masks. In addition, wearing face masks has been shown to reduce the number and severity of facial contact among healthcare workers that participate in a health program. This reduction in interpersonal contact helps to decrease the transfer of infectious disease from one person to another.