Proper adherence to infection control precautions, including appropriate selection and use of personal protective equipment (PPE), is of significant importance to the health and well-being of perioperative personnel. Surgical masks are intended for use as a barrier to protect the wearer's face from large droplets and splashes of blood and other body fluids; however, surgical and high-filtration surgical laser masks do not provide enough protection to be considered respiratory PPE. Potential exposure to airborne contaminants and infectious agents, including those present in surgical smoke, necessitates the use of respiratory PPE, such as a surgical N95 particulate filtering facepiece respirator. Filtering facepiece respirators greatly reduce a wide size range of particles from entering the wearer's breathing zone and are designed to protect the user from both droplet and airborne particles. Every health care worker who must use a respirator to control hazardous exposures in the workplace must be trained to properly use the respirator and pass a fit test before using it in the workplace.
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