How a medical face mask acts as an effective infection control strategy

Hospital infection control is crucial not just for the safety of patients but also for healthcare providers. As healthcare-related infections continue to rise, reducing infections in the immediate surroundings should be of utmost priority to any healthcare center.  The repercussions of contracting an infection from the surroundings are devastating, especially to vulnerable or immunocompromised patients. It is crucial for hospitals to take effective measures to control and minimize the instances of healthcare-related infections.

How a medical face mask acts as an effective infection control strategy 1

As a part of this infection control strategy, every healthcare provider is asked to wear a medical face mask to prevent the spread of diseases. A disposable face mask is an example of a personal protective equipment that guards the wearer against airborne and liquid particles that could contaminate their respiratory system. Such masks fit comfortably and are meant for single use.

Let’s understand the importance of wearing medical masks.

A medical face mask acts as a physical barrier between the wearer and contaminants in the surrounding environment.  They promote infection control by:

  • Preventing contamination from fingers: Quite often an individual touches his mouth or nose with his unwashed or contaminated hands. This is when a disposable face mask acts as a protective shield. For instance, during surgeries, surgeons deal with open wounds. If they subconsciously use their hand to touch their nose or mouth, they might immediately contract an infection. Hence, a surgical face mask protects them from such contamination.
  • Preventing the spread of airborne infections: Face masks stop you from spreading infections to others while also protecting you against contracting acute airborne infections. Medical face masks are made up of materials that can filter out contaminated particles and curb the aerosol spread of diseases. Taking the above example, a surgeon must use medical masks to prevent herself from passing germs from her nose and mouth to the patient’s fresh wounds.
  • Preventing allergies: Face masks can also be used to protect yourself from pollution and allergens such as pollen, dust, smoke, etc.

Types of medical face masks:                                                                                       

It’s important to understand that surgical masks are medical supplies with a limited protection period. Even though they provide a minimum bacterial filtration efficiency of 80%, it may get compromised if the filter medium is highly contaminated. Therefore, a used mask should be changed if you notice any moisture on its surface or immediately after sneezing or coughing. Let’s take a look at the different types of masks available.

  • Surgical masks: These masks are commonly used by surgeons to protect their surroundings by preventing the expulsion of large particles by the wearer. These masks do not fit very tightly.
  • Respirators: They are used to protect the wearer by minimizing his exposure to minute airborne particles that can cause contamination. Respirators are made to fit tightly to the wearer because it is mostly used when the environment is not just contaminated but hazardous. In healthcare, such masks are used when taking care of patients who are infected with severe airborne diseases.

Though a medical mask may not provide complete protection against infections, it should be worn as a preventive measure. There are several other ways of preventing the spread of infections, such as using disposable gloves, maintaining personal hygiene, etc. which should certainly be taken into consideration.


Buy disposable face masks on Medikabazaar

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