Cardinal Health Announces Surgical Mask Educational Campaign

Cardinal Health today announced the launch of its educational campaign, "Behind the Mask: Your Complete Guide to Facial Protection," a program intended to help surgical personnel understand the applicable regulations, guidelines and recommended practices for the appropriate and effective use of facial protection.

"Behind the Mask: Your Complete Guide to Facial Protection," investigates the clinical need for facial protection and reviews essential information regarding facial protection from regulatory organizations such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and industry associations such as the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN). The program also provides guidance for selecting the appropriate mask by providing an overview of medical face mask material requirements by performance level and investigating the "4Fs" of facial protection: filtration, fit, fluid-resistance and fog-reduction:

 Filtration Surgical masks provide protection against bacteria and particulates in the air. A high-filtration surgical mask provides 98 percent bacterial filtration efficiency and sub-micron particulate filtration of more than 98 percent of particles to approximately 0.1 micrometers in size.

 Fluid-resistance A fluid-resistant mask protects the face from potentially dangerous exposure to bloodborne pathogens. A mask with the highest level of fluid resistance withstands pressure of 160 millimeters of mercury.

 Fit A properly fitting surgical mask protects health care workers from dangerous contamin ants in the breathing zone. The efficacy of a surgical mask is reduced when there are gaps present around the mask. Only a properly fit tested N95 respirator provides complete protection.

 Fog-reduction Fog-reduction technology can help minimize distractions caused by the presence of condensation on the eye protection, which should be used whenever there is a potential exposure to blood or body fluids.

The program recently was awarded the AORN Seal of Recognition, a designation confirming that the content of training and in-service programs and materials has undergone thorough review by AORN and meets the guidelines set forth in AORNs Perioperative Standards and Recommended Practices. While not a product endorsement, the Seal of Recognition demonstrates that the promotional and informative material related to a product or service has met AORN guidelines.

In a news release announcing the award to Cardinal Health, AORN noted that, "perioperative nurses rely on health care industry representatives to teach proper use of products and services that will be used in and around the operating room," and Joan Blanchard, MSS, BSN, RN, CNOR, CIC, perioperative nursing specialist at AORN said, "The education materials submitted by Cardinal Health are informative and meet the associations standards for excellence in safe patient care. Perioperative nurses can be confident in the content of these education materials."

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