Things to know about the surgical face mask

What’s a surgical mask?

Surgical face masks are also known as medical masks and designed especially for healthcare professionals during surgery and nursing, to avoid contamination of the surgical field and patient by capturing liquid droplets that are expelled by the user.

Why does the common public also wear surgical masks?

In order to reduce the chance of spreading airborne diseases and to avoid breathing in the airborne dust particles created by air pollution, people in East Asian countries also use surgical masks. Due to the global coronavirus outbreak, one can’t identify if the people you encountered are infected or not.

It is difficult to identify as the infected person might have any symptoms for up to 14 days after exposure to the virus. Hence, surgical masks must be used by all human beings to prevent themselves from being infected.

Therefore, make sure to wear a face mask to avoid infecting others or being infected in public places like supermarkets, buses, taxis, and subways.

How to choose a surgical mask?

There are many kinds of dust masks and ordinary hygiene masks on the market, but they are not effective enough to protect you from coronavirus. Before purchasing an order, look for 3-ply surgical masks rather than fashion masks, ordinary disposable dust masks.

Among all, 3-ply surgical masks are the proper surgical mask. These 3-layers include an outer first layer is hydrophobic non-woven layer, the middle layer is melt-blown layer, and the inner layer is soft absorbent non-woven layer. Each layer has specific functions: the outer layer is intended to repel fluids such as water, blood, and other body fluids; the middle layer has a major contribution and acts as a filter to prevent germs from entering into or exiting from the mask; and the inner layer is intended to absorb water, sweat and spit.

Similar to a 3-ply surgical mask, N95 respirators also proven to work effectively in preventing respiratory infections like novel coronavirus.

How to identify if the surgical mask is real or fake?

There are some non-woven face masks that look similar to surgical masks but these face masks do not have a melt-down layer. Here is how you can identify the surgical mask is real or fake?

  • Tear the face mask from ends if it has 3-ply layers.
  • Check the layers of your mask and see if there is a melt-down layer.

To identify the melt-down layer, follow the below step:

  1. Unlike the other 2 layers, the melt-down layer looks different from the other two transparent non-woven layers.
  2. This layer will be different from paper. The melt-down layer melts in case of fire but does not burn out, unlike paper.

How to wear a surgical mask properly?

  1. Before using the mask, make sure to clean and sanitize your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  2. While you wear the mask, make sure to cover both mouth and nose.
  3. Avoid frequent touch of the mask while you use it. If you do so, make sure to clean your hands.
  4. Replace the mask with a new one after single-use.
  5. To remove the mask, remove it from behind and do not touch the mask from the front. Discard it as soon as you remove it.

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