Use of surgical masks in the operating room: a review of the clinical effectiveness and guidelines

Record ID 32014000881
Authors' recommendations: The use of surgical face masks by staff in the operating room is presumed to reduce the frequency of surgical site infections. The evidence identified and included in this report finds no evidence basis for this presumption. The consensus of the systematic reviews included in this report is that there is a paucity of data on this topic, and that current evidence is lacking for altering clinical practice. The included guidelines of this report are also in agreement that the long standing practice of wearing surgical face masks in the operating room should continue despite the lack of clinical efficacy evidence. No evidence was identified that examined a potential role for surgical face masks in protecting staff from infectious material encountered in the operating room. In the absence of available clinical evidence the guidelines recommend wearing masks of a type suitable to the procedure being performed and in accordance with applicable health and safety regulations.
Project Status: Completed
Year Published: 2013
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: Canada
MeSH Terms
  • Masks
  • Infection Control
Organisation Name: Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health
Contact Address: 600-865 Carling Avenue, Ottawa, ON K1S 5S8 Canada. Tel: +1 613 226 2553; Fax: +1 613 226 5392;
Contact Name:
Contact Email:
Copyright: Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH)
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