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British Journal of Medicine and Medical Research, ISSN: 2231-0614,Vol.: 10, Issue.: 8


An Assessment of the Benefit of Surgical Face Masks in Preventing Aerosol Droplet Spread during a Simulated Spinal Anaesthetic-a Blinded in vitro Study


Abhijit Biswas1*, S. Ó. Riain2, J. Saunders3, D. Barron4 and N. O. Connell4

1Clinical Fellow, Regional Anaesthesia, Toronto Western Hospital, Toronto, Canada.

2Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, Mid Western Regional Hospital, Limerick, Ireland.

3Statistical Consulting Unit, University of Limerick, Ireland.

4Department of Microbiology, Mid Western Regional Hospital, Limerick, Ireland.

Article Information


(1) Fuhong Su, ICU Laboratory, Erasme Hospital, Free University Brussels, Brussels, Belgium.


(1) Anonymous, Military Hospital, Ankara, Turkey.

(2) Anonymous, University of Alberta Hospital, Canada.

(3) Jan Jakobsson, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Complete Peer review History: http://sciencedomain.org/review-history/11149


Aims: The purpose of this study was to assess the benefit of wearing a surgical face mask in reducing aerosol contamination of agar plates in a simulated spinal anaesthetic. The contamination of plates with virulent organisms, association of growth with recent upper respiratory tract infection and food intake were also studied.

Methods: A poster containing written text was fixed to a wall, with a standard agar plate suspended at its midpoint. Each volunteer (n=30) then read the text from the wall chart to simulate verbal interaction with a patient during a spinal anaesthetic, initially wearing a surgical mask and then once again without a mask.

Results: This study revealed an increased risk (p =0.006) of bacterial growth on agar plates when not wearing a surgical face mask. Results also suggest that eating prior to surgical procedures may increase the risk of contamination of the surgical field in the absence of a barrier mask.

Keywords :

Facemasks; oral commensals; meningitis.

Full Article - PDF    Page 1-7

DOI : 10.9734/BJMMR/2015/20265

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