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Medical & Surgical Masks

Overview: What is a Face Mask?

Until now, Face Masks were only a commonplace in the medical field. Since the coronavirus outbreak, wearing a face mask is a new normal when entering public spaces to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Masks are made from a variety of materials and layers to filter airborne contaminants. Masks must be worn loosely over the nose and mouth so that breathing isn't restricted causing the wearer to adjust and put themselves at risk by touching the face. If worn and handled properly, it will slow the spread of sickness, especially when worn by individuals with the virus who may not know it.

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Styles of Face Masks

Face Masks are also referred to as procedural masks, medical masks, and surgical masks. The varieties meet the needs of the public and medical professionals working on the frontlines. Find more information below to make it easier to find the best mask and protection needed. If you are looking to buy surgical masks, procedural face masks or medical masks, Vitality Medical has a wide variety from several top brands.

Surgical Masks, such as the Medline Standard Surgical Mask, protect the nose and mouth of medical staff, particularly surgeons in an operating room. It is made with fastening ties to adjust to the size of the surgical cap. A surgical mask is made of breathable and disposable materials to be worn for one-time use. The material is fluid-resistant and the pleated structure expands to completely cover the mouth and nose. This physical barrier blocks large particles from entering the nose and mouth. A surgical N95 mask blocks smaller particles with its enhanced filtration system. An N95 mask maintains a closer fit against the face with the round edges.

Surgical Mask with Ties

Procedural or Medical Masks, such as the Turba 3-ply Face Mask with earloops, are not meant to be used in the OR. These interchangeable terms are for general-purpose situations. Procedural masks can be worn by the general public or by a patient. Medical masks may also called dental masks, to be worn during dental procedures. They come with simple ear loops that are comfortable and easy to apply and remove. They also have a pleated multi-layer filtration material. A metal nose piece prevents gapping at the top and the bottom pleat holds underneath the chin.


Medical Mask

Face Shields, such as the Shieldu Face Shield complement a mask, but by themselves, they do not prevent the spread of disease, as they leave the nose and mouth unprotected. A face shield may be worn without a medical mask if the wearer is simply protecting the face from potential splatter. A benefit of wearing a shield with a face mask is that it reminds the wearer to not touch the face. Laboratory personnel and surgeons will add another layer of protection. A combination mask, such as the Alpha ProTech Combo Mask and Face Shield has a built-in face shield to protect the mask from splatter and shield the eyes when if there is potential exposure to bloodborne pathogens or hazardous material. The face shield's anti-fog coating maintains the visual field at all times.

Face Shield


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How should face masks be stored?
Keep the masks in a sealable bag or container to reduce contact with potential contaminants.

Can face masks protect from the coronavirus disease?
The CDC recommends a face mask to slow the spread of the virus. A multi-layer mask is viewed as a better option over a cloth mask, but a cloth covering can still slow the spread since people may not know they have the virus. All masks must be worn correctly to get the best protection. More information is found below on how to properly don and doff a face mask. Regular hand washing and social distancing will also help slow the spread.

When should a face mask be worn?
Masks are to be worn by healthy individuals who do not have respiratory issues or other medical conditions that could put them at risk by wearing a mask. Children under the age of 2 should not wear a mask. Otherwise, wear a mask when entering and exiting crowded public spaces, poorly ventilated settings, or settings where it is difficult to maintain social distancing practices with others, not in the immidiate household.

Are face masks reusable?
Unless it is specified as cloth material, it is not washable and reusable and must be thrown away.

How long should a face mask be worn?
The length of time is still under debate but a healthy individual should only wear the mask four to five hours at a time.


Donning and Doffing Instructions for Procedure Masks

  1. Wash the hands before handling the face mask.
  2. Unfold the pleats and look for holes or any sign of a defect.
  3. Orient the mask with the darker side facing away from the face.
  4. Center the mask onto the face, applying one ear loop at a time.
  5. Adjust the metal nose piece to form over the bridge of the nose.
  6. Expand the bottom pleat to fit around the chin.
  7. After wearing, wash the hands before making any adjustments or removing the mask.
  8. Remove the mask if it is wet or starting a new procedure.
  9. To remove the mask, start with one ear loop at a time.
  10. Throw away in a trash bin and wash the hands again.

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