Medical Masks - Types and Usage

Medical masks are protective masks worn by healthcare workers and the general public to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
Safety Equipment
Where to get
Available in pharmacies, hospitals, and online.
Applicable for
Prepared by Shruti Sahoo, reviewed by Dr. Eugene Smith

Medical Masks FAQ

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What is a surgical mask?

Surgical masks help prevent infectious people from spreading the COVID-19 virus and provide greater protection from infection for the wearer. P2/N95 respirator masks that are designed for medical use must comply with the relevant national standards (or equivalent).

Is a face mask a medical device?

The manufacturer's intended purpose is a key consideration when deciding if a face mask is a medical device. A face mask may still be a medical device even if it is labelled as 'not for medical use' as the manufacturer may intend it to be used for the prevention of the transmission of disease between people but in a non-surgical setting.

What is a clear medical mask?

Clear masks or cloth masks with a clear plastic panel are an alternative type of mask that may be helpful when interacting with certain groups of people, such as: People who need to see the proper shape of the mouth for making appropriate vowel sounds The FDA cleared for marketing a transparent medical mask.

What are the benefits of wearing a mask?

Masks should be used as part of a comprehensive ‘Do it all!’ approach including physical distancing, avoiding crowded, closed and close-contact settings, good ventilation, cleaning hands, covering sneezes and coughs, and more. Depending on the type, masks can be used for either protection of healthy persons or to prevent onward transmission.

How do you wear a medical mask?

Use masks that have bendable nose strips, as these help prevent air from leaking out of the top of the mask. Layers of material offer more protection. Some people choose to wear a medical mask under a cloth mask. In that case, the cloth mask should press the edges of the medical mask against the face.

Medical Masks References

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