- To avoid exposing one's faces to the infectious secretions, blood, and other fluids
- To try and reduce the spread of infections
- Patient safety and to maintain the standards of the hospital
Recently there are some advanced surgical masks made. In this article, we have made an effort to come up with as many points as possible that could help you to choose the right surgical masks.
One has to follow the principle of 4F's while selecting a surgical mask. The American Society of Testing and Materials is the one that defines the standards for the surgical masks that are to be used. ASTM is a non-profit organization, and they work together with several masks making industries, and volunteers and then work on setting the standards for the surgical masks.
Filtration:The mask should be strong enough to filter out all the bacteria. If the surgical mask fails to filter out the bacteria, then the recovery of the patients might become slightly harsh. As doctors, it becomes your responsibility to contain the entire virus within yourself, and you are not supposed to transfer them to your patients. Doctors are also prone to cold and cough as they would be treating a lot of patients. To avoid deterioration in the patient's health condition, the doctors are supposed to invest in the surgical masks that have good filtration features.
The cover should be capable of withstanding to the fluids that are transmitted as droplets when a person sneezes or coughs. According to ASTM, this is the level -2 surgical face mask. There are higher risks of people developing diseases when they are exposed to fluids. Diseases like pneumonia and other respiratory-related infections generally affect a person when they are exposed to such fluids. Hence, as a medical practitioner, it is important to buy those surgical masks that are resistant to liquid.
Different kinds of hygiene masks are available in the market. They go through levels of tests, and when they are made available to the consumers. The surgical masks are made using a 20 gsm polystyrene non-woven fabric. The surgical mask should be resistant to bacteria, fluid, and also splash.
These are some of the main features that a surgical mask should have. Apart from this, a surgical mask should be able to protect both the patients and doctors. It should also fit properly and should not cause any breathing difficulty when they are worn. They should also be tested for all the standards, as mentioned by the ASTM. These are some of the features that have to be checked when you are buying a surgical face mask.
Fit:When you are investing in a surgical mask, you must make sure to get the ones that fit you the best. The mask should neither be too loose nor too tight. If you wear a mask that is too loose, then you may end up transmitting the virus to someone else because the mask would refuse to stay in its place. If you wear a surgical mask that is too tight then, it might cause difficulty in breathing. Hence, both these kinds of masks can turn out to be useless. Therefore, you need to spend ample amounts of time choosing a mask that fits you properly.
Splash resistance:When the doctors are at the operation theatres, they would be exposed to a lot of blood and other fluids. There are a lot of chances of these fluids splashing on their faces during the surgical process. To avoid these splashes, it is mandatory to invest in the hygiene masks that are splash resistant as well.
Test the masks:At times, some of the surgical face masks can be faulty. Though they are tested, they might turn out to be defective. If you find getting uncomfortable wearing masks, you must remember to test them because the surgical masks are quite expensive, and you cannot keep investing in them. Hence, spray aerosols and other sprays at a distance and check if the mask is fluid-resistant. Try splashing some fluid from a range to check if it is splash resistant or not. So, these tests would help you to choose the right kind of mask.