A surgical mask is a disposable medical device that can be bought in pharmacy and that protects against infectious agents transmitted by “droplets.” These droplets can be droplets of saliva or secretions from the upper respiratory tract when the wearer exhales.
A surgical mask can also protect the wearer from the risk of splashes of biological fluids. In this case, the surgical mask must have a waterproof layer. It can also be equipped with a visor to protect the eyes.
If worn by the caregiver, the surgical mask protects the patient and his or her environment (air, surfaces, equipment, surgical site).
If worn by a contagious patient, it prevents the patient from contaminating his or her surroundings and environment. These masks should not be worn for more than 3 to 8 hours.