The specialist is to wear a clean head cover each day; most hospitals use
disposable hoods and caps. He should wear it in a manner to cover the hair completely
(see Figure 1-1). The wearing of the cap prevents the possible contamination of the
sterile field by falling hair or dandruff.
Figure 1-1. Surgical cap and mask (disposable type).
a. The surgical mask is worn primarily to protect the patient from bacteria
exhaled from the oro- and nasopharynx of operating room personnel. Two types of
disposable masks that are standard items are, one with paired head and neck ties (see
Figure 1-1) and a cup type with an elastic headband (see Figure 1-2). Both are made of
a nonwoven fabric with adjustable metal nosepieces along the top of the mask. The
metal stay is used to hold the mask snugly to the face, thus preventing fogging of the
specialist's glasses if worn. The mask must fit snugly around the nose and mouth to
filter air through it rather than permit the passage of air around the sides. The specialist
is to don a fresh mask immediately before beginning the scrub procedure. The mask is
not considered sterile.
Figure 1-2. Disposable surgical mask with elastic headband.