Surgical masks are disposable face masks made from a variety of materials that are designed to protect the wearer from inhaling all manner of pathogens, including viruses. They are worn in a way that covers the nose and mouth. Designed to allow the user full functionality for breathing, they are comfortable to wear and suitable to be worn all day long, although recommendations state they should be changed every 4-6 hours for best results.
Wearing surgical masks are one of the best ways to protect us from highly contagious viruses, especially anything that is airborne that can easily enter our nose and mouth. These have been used in operating rooms as a standard to protect people from spreading germs and other infections. Surgical masks are the best way to keep your family safe from illnesses; provided they are worn properly and replaced when their effectiveness has been exhausted.\
According to CDC recommendations, people should wear masks in public settings, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Wearing good-quality surgical masks that have at least a three-layer construction can stop or limit the spreading of pathogens in a variety of conditions.
At Clinical Supplies, we have all varieties of face masks to suit your needs including top respirators like N95 masks, KN95 masks, 3M masks (3M 8511 & 3M 8210), and ASTM Level 3 masks. Our face masks are available in different sizes so you don’t have to worry about adult and kids face masks. If you have difficulty wearing a mask, you can use our face shields for similar protection. To maximize your protection when in public settings, you can also try out our disposable gloves. We also stock hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes that can protect you when you are on the go and do not have access to soap and water.
How do surgical masks work?
Surgical masks usually have two sides, a coloured side (often blue or green) and a white side. While functionally different, this is also to allow the user to tell which way to wear the mask. The white side, that faces the user's mouth, is absorbent and stops particles as they exit your mouth or nose. The coloured side contains a fluid-repellent which will keep water droplets from entering the mask and potentially infecting the wearer.
These masks have been designed to stop infections from passing from patients to the professional treating them or vice versa. Although the CDC has not supported them as being as effective as an N95 respirator, they are suitable when no other option is available.
For the general public, surgical masks are more than enough to protect the user from infections. While there is no guarantee that any mask can provide complete protection to the user from pathogens, it can stop airborne particles from being directly inhaled after being in the vicinity of an infectious person.
How to wear surgical masks?
To function properly, surgical masks need to be worn correctly. Always handle the mask by the ear loops and never the green/blue or white part of the mask. Find the top of the mask, this will usually have a lightweight wire or other internal elements that can be bent or manipulated to form a seal around the bridge of your nose.
Start by separating the folds to extend the surface of the mask, then hold the mask in front of your face by the two ear loops. Place the mask over your nose and mouth and hook the ear loops around your ears. Then pinch down on the bridge of your nose and bend the mask to that it fits tightly to the skin. Pull the bottom of the mask so it sits below your chin. Your mask should be tight to your face and have very little gaps around the sides. You can twist the ear loops to close the gaps at the side of your mask further; this will increase the mask’s effectiveness.
Are surgical masks effective?
The effectiveness of surgical masks is debatable. While the CDC has not endorsed the surgical mask as suitable protection against the COVID-19 virus, it has stated that wearing a surgical mask provides good protection if a better mask (N95) is not available. However, we consider a surgical mask to be highly effective as it stops the direct inhalation of possibly infected air from passing into your lungs. If you need to go out in public and are not sure if the people around you are infected, it can aid in stopping viruses from infecting you and making you sick.
In comparison to other face coverings, the surgical mask provides excellent protection and is more suitable than cloth masks. Ideally, you should use a mask that feels comfortable and stops the direct transmission of viral spores from entering your airways. Although a surgical mask is an excellent product to protect respiratory health, you need to be especially wary of placing your fingers in or around your mouth when wearing it. To prevent the spread of germs, you should clean your hands with a good-quality hand sanitiser every time you remove a surgical mask.
How long can you wear a surgical mask?
Surgical masks have a shelf life too. For best results, it is recommended that a surgical mask be changed at around every four hours as a minimum and 6 hours at a maximum.
In a working shift where you come into contact with many people, you can change your mask during a lunch break. This will give you almost 5 hours per mask and provide you with the best protection while you are dealing with the general public and at the highest amount of risk.
If your mask becomes wet at any time while you are wearing it, you should change it immediately with a fresh one. Also, if there is ever a time that someone directly sneezes or coughs in your vicinity where it is clear droplets have gotten onto your mask, it should be changed immediately. For best results with masks, you can expect to go through about 2-3 per day.
Do surgical masks filter viruses?
When worn correctly, according to the manufacturer’s guidelines, surgical masks can filter out viruses. Although there is some discussion about their effectiveness and if they are better suited than many other types of masks. However, it has been noted, especially by the CDC, that a surgical mask is effective when you do not have access to a higher-rated mask.
If you are not sure if surgical masks would be the best option for vulnerable people in your family, you can buy adult and kids N95 masks for children and older family members and buy surgical masks for everyone else.
While there is no guarantee with any mask, they are best used in conjunction with other medical supplies available. You can use hand sanitizers, and antibacterial wipes or even infrared thermometers to check the temperature of visitors before they step into your home to safeguard your family’s health. All of these tools when used together will give you the best protection possible. Shop surgical masks and other medical tools from Clinical Supplies at wholesale prices and we’ll ship them directly to your home or workplace.