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Surgical Face Masks

A surgical face mask is a piece of protective equipment that covers the mouth, nose and chin to create a barrier that limits the transition of an infective agent between the hospital staff and the patient. It was originally developed to contain and filter large droplets of microorganisms expelled from the mouth and nose of healthcare workers during surgery, thereby providing protection for the patient.

What are Surgical Face Masks?

  • Their primary purpose is to prevent particles being expelled by the wearer into the environment

  • They are not personal protective equipment (PPE)

  • Surgical masks do not require a fit test

  • They are not necessarily designed to seal tightly to the face so air lea kage around the edges is likely

  • Some surgical masks are also designed to be resistant to the splash and splatter of blood and other infectious materials