II. Preparations: Surgical Face Mask

  1. Description
    1. Disposable, loose fitting physical barrier between the wearer's mouth and nose and the patient
    2. Some masks are also available with a Face Shield to protect the mid-face and eyes
    3. Blocks large-particle droplets, splashes, sprays or splatter (and the infectious agents they harbor)
  2. Indications
    1. Personal Protective Equipment during patient care (standard protection from low level exposure to body fluids)
    2. Sterile procedures (e.g. surgery) to protect the patient from the operating staff's oral and nasal secretions
  3. Limitations
    1. Does not filter small, aerosolized particles (e.g. cough, sneeze transmitted highly infectious agents)
    2. No significant protection against most toxins due to the loose fit

III. Preparations: N95 Mask

  1. Description
    1. Single-use, disposable, tightly fitting face mask offers protection against airborne particles
    2. Blocks small aerosolized particles, in addition to large particles, splashes and spray
  2. Indications
    1. Protection against contagious, small aerosolized infectious agents (e.g. pandemic Influenza)
  3. Limitations
    1. Requires special FIT Testing
    2. Not designed for children or those with significant facial hair (beard)
    3. May be contraindicated in those with chronic lung disease (e.g. COPD or Severe Asthma)
    4. Not designed for toxin exposures ("hot zone") vapors or gases
      1. See Personal Protective Equipment

IV. Preparations: M40 Mask (Chemical Defense Mask)

  1. Description
    1. Full face respirator
    2. External filter canister
      1. HEPA filter
      2. ASZ charcoal impregnated
  2. Indications
    1. Protects face and respiratory tract
    2. Volatile agents and aerosols
    3. Removes biological and toxin agents
  3. Limitations
    1. Does not protect in close space with Oxygen <19.5%
    2. Substances not filtered
      1. Ammonia
      2. Carbon Monoxide
      3. Nitric oxide
      4. Carbon dioxide

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