Unmasking the surgeons: the evidence base behind the use of facemasks in surgery
The use of surgical facemasks is ubiquitous in surgical practice. Facemasks have long been thought to confer protection to the patient from wound infection and contamination from the operating surgeon and other members of the surgical staff. More recently, protection of the theatre staff from patient-derived blood/bodily fluid splashes has also been offered as a reason for their continued use. In light of current NHS budget constraints and cost-cutting strategies, we examined the evidence base behind the use of surgical facemasks.