One of the greatest advancements in the field of medical technology has been the development of disposable garments. Equipment that is used once before disposal is always sterile for its one use, contributing to patient safety and convenience for physicians. One example of disposable equipment are surgical masks; however, with so many surgical masks to choose from, what factors should an organization consider before deciding on a type of mask to go with?
The first factor is to decide how well the mask shields the patient from the breath of the surgeon and vice versa. When a patient is open on the table, there is a large window for infection. That’s why everyone has to remain sterile while the procedure is occurring. The human mouth is filled with bacteria that could potentially cause an infection. Make sure the mask can prevent this from happening.
Next, consider how well the surgical mask works with the surgical glasses. Some masks even come with their own face shield; however, sometimes the hot breath from the mask can flow up from the mask and fog the glasses and face shield. Because the surgeon has scrubbed in, the surgeon cannot touch his mask or defog his glasses. This can make it difficult to see what is happening during the procedure. Make sure the mask doesn’t fog up the glasses.
Finally, how well does the mask breathe? Everyone wants to make sure their mask is breathable to maintain comfort during the procedure. There is a balance between creating a sterile barrier and allowing the wearer to breathe comfortably. Masks are made out of a variety of material and each has its positives and negatives. It is a good idea to test the mask before deciding which type to use.