Version published: 17 February 2014
Allyson Lipp, Peggy Edwards
Surgical face masks were originally developed to contain and filter droplets containing microorganisms expelled from the mouth and nasopharynx of healthcare workers during surgery, thereby providing protection for the patient. However, there are several ways in which surgical face masks could potentially contribute to contamination of the surgical wound, e.g. by incorrect wear or by leaking air from the side of the mask due to poor string tension.
To determine whether disposable surgical face masks worn by the surgical team during clean surgery prevent postoperative surgical wound infection.
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