Got Questions? We've Got Answers!

Those in medical professions are familiar with surgical facemasks, their functions and their purpose but the global COVID-19 pandemic has brought about an increase in the general public wearing facemasks to prevent the spread of the disease.  There are now individuals and companies who need to use facemasks who don’t know about these products. We have compiled a list of the most common questions we received about the use and purpose of surgical face masks.

What is a medical/surgical face mask?

In professional terms, a surgical face mask is simply a protective guard worn over the mouth and nose to act as a barrier between the respiratory system and infectious particles or droplets in the air. Often used during surgery, it can also be referred to as a medical mask, face mask or respirator mask, however its purpose always remains the same.

The mask works by creating a barrier between the nose and mouth of the wearer and the immediate environment which surrounds them, to prevent droplets from their mouth or nose from reaching another individual.

Will a disposable face mask help protect me from coronavirus infection?

A surgical mask is an effective way of keeping others protected from the COVID-19 virus. This is because they are designed to create a barrier between the mouth and nose and the surrounding environment to ultimately prevent infectious particles from spreading in the air from one human being to another.

What is a disposable face mask made from?

Most surgical-style disposable face masks are made with a 3-ply design, which is essentially three separate materials that fit loosely around the front of the face, covering the nose and mouth. They normally tie around the back of the head with an ear loop system and are generally rectangular in shape. Surgical face masks are disposable so that they can be safely disposed after use.

Who should use medical masks?

Medical masks should be used by:

  • Healthcare workers
  • Medical Professionals
  • Anyone with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, including mildly ill people
  • People caring for suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 outside of health facilities
  • People aged 60 or over
  • People with underlying health conditions
  • Those working in industries that require the wearing of medical masks for health and safety compliance

How do I properly put on a mask?

  • Before touching the mask, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • Inspect the mask for tears or holes; do not use a mask that has previously been worn or is damaged.
  • Verify which side is the top – this is usually where the metal strip is.
  • Then, identify the inside of the mask, which is usually the white side.
  • Place the mask on your face covering your nose, mouth and chin, making sure that there are no gaps between your face and the mask.
  • Pinch the metal strip so it moulds to the shape of your nose.
  • Remember, do not touch the front of the mask while using it to avoid contamination; if you accidentally touch it, clean your hands.

How do I properly remove and dispose of a mask?

  • Before touching the mask, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • Remove the straps from behind the head or ears, without touching the front of the mask.
  • As you remove the mask, lean forward and pull the mask away from your face.
  • Medical masks are for single use only; discard the mask immediately, preferably into a closed bin.
  • Clean your hands after touching the mask.
  • Be aware of the condition of the mask; replace it if it gets soiled or damp.