Everything about the surgical mask or almost ...

Everything about the surgical mask or almost ... an article in which we will try to understand and know a little more about surgical masks ... .. The effectiveness of bacterial filtration, the classification and the standardized types, its interest in The area of COVID-19 vaccination, how to use it effectively ... are all questions that will be addressed in this post.

Everything about the surgical mask or almost ...
Everything about the surgical mask or almost ...

A surgical mask is a respiratory medical device, generally disposable, designed to limit the spread of airborne viruses and bacteria in the medical environment, but also in the general public. It avoids the projections of droplets emitted by the wearer of the mask and also protects the latter from those projected by another person opposite. Thus, the risks of viral or microbial contamination of the immediate entourage of the wearer of the mask will be considerably reduced. Wearing a mask therefore proves to be an excellent means for individual protection, but also collective. However, the effectiveness of its protection will depend essentially on its manufacture as well as its use. To be effective, its design must meet certain standards and the user must be careful to cover the nose, mouth and chin well.

What are the different types of masks that are marketed?

A surgical mask is generally made up of two layers of non-woven fabric enclosing a third so-called “filter” layer to ensure effective and therefore protective filtration. It is this filtration efficiency that is used to classify masks into three types. Indeed, these types or rather these standards are defined by splash tests carried out in the direction of the expiration taking into account the effectiveness of bacterial filtration often abbreviated as "EFB" or "BFE".
Thus, there are three types, namely:

  • Type I with a bacterial filtration efficiency greater than 95% of an aerosol of average size 3 µm.
  • Type II with a bacterial filtration efficiency greater than 98% of an aerosol of average size 3 µm.
  • Type IIR with a bacterial filtration efficiency greater than 98% of an aerosol of average size 3 µm and splash resistant.

According to this classification, type IIR is the most effective of the three. It can of course be used by individuals, but it is more intended for healthcare professionals. However, to protect against inhalation of airborne microbes or particles, there is a fourth type which is the FFP mask. This is a standard NF EN 149 respiratory protection device. It has a high level of protection, but wearing it has certain drawbacks such as thermal discomfort and respiratory resistance.

Is there any point in wearing a surgical mask when you are vaccinated with COVID-19?

The answer is yes ". Although vaccines greatly reduce the risk of contamination and spread of the coronavirus, they do not eliminate it completely. Obviously, for unvaccinated people, this anti-splash device is an essential way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. In asymptomatic forms, the mask remains a very effective means of preventing the transmission and spread of the disease by the respiratory droplets and particles emitted by infected people. Since the coronavirus can be spread via respiratory droplets (postilions), wearing a mask is always a good idea, especially in closed public places.

How to effectively use a surgical mask?

Before putting on your mask, it is important to wash your hands thoroughly, either with soap or hydroalcoholic gel. Then, you have to adjust the elastics around the ears and exert a slight pressure on the nose brette to make it airtight. The mask should cover the mouth and nose to its root. Once in place, the mask should be touched as little as possible. To handle or remove it, it is advisable to touch only the rubber bands located on the side.

To deepen the subject, we invite you to discover the recommendations of "Public Health France" in this video which explains how to properly use the mask by answering certain questions such as: When to wear a mask? How to wear my mask? When and how do I change my mask?

About the author
My name is Natalia. After a long experience in import-export of baby items in a large international brand, I became interested in the Medical Device sector. I am currently an expert in purchasing procedures for medical equipment in hospitals, geriatrics and pharmaceuticals. In this Placemed blog, I decided to write about medical news that might interest you.