Surgical facemask protocol

Last modified by Iris Spruit on 2021/12/10 09:59

Surgical facemask (IIR masker) protocol


In order to prevent participant or researcher infection, the researcher wears personal protection.


There are multiple types of protective facemasks: the surgical facemask (IRR) and the breathing- protective-facemasks (FFP).

A surgical facemask (IRR mask) has to cover nose and mouth. It filters the exhaled air from specific particles (such as microorganisms).

A surgical facemask:

  • Reduces the risk of transferring microorganisms from the nose and mouth of the researcher (via secretion) to the (environment of) the participant;
  • Protects against self-contamination given that the mask prevents the researcher from (subconsciously) touching the nose and mouth with the hands;
  • Protects the wearer against, for example, splashing accidents.


The surgical facemask has to be provided with:

  • A CE rating 93/42/EEG
  • A NEN-EN 14683 rating, type IRR
    • The R indicates that this mask prevents moisture infiltration

When to use the facemask

  • If it is written in the protocol;
  • If the transmission of microorganisms through secretion via nose and/or mouth from researcher to participant is possible;
  • If there’s a chance that certain microorganisms can be transmitted through touching one’s nose and mouth, either with hands or gloves.


Generally, the facemask needs to be worn with the coloured side directed outwards. If the mask is entirely white, it needs to be worn with the logo directed outwards.

  • Apply the surgical facemask as described in the guidelines and make sure that:
    • The flexible part of the mask is properly pressed against the nasal bridge;
    • The middle part of the mask properly covers mouth and nose;
    • The bottom part of the mask covers the chin.
  • Masks can only be used once and by one person only. It is forbidden to use the mask after it being hung around the neck.
  • Replace the mask after wearing it for 2 hours.
  • If the mask becomes moist or filthy, replace it immediately. Explanation: if the mask becomes moist, its filter properties are decreased and the mask will not offer as much protection as before.
  • Remove the mask after use and do not touch the front of the mask.
  • After use, discard the mask (do not reuse) by throwing it in the normal bin.
  • Disinfect your hands immediately after discarding the mask.

Applying the surgical facemask

  1. Unfold the facemask;
  2. Bend the noseband in the middle;
  3. Apply the mask over nose and mouth and press the noseband against the nose;
  4. Tie the upper straps in a straight line;\
  5. Tie the lower straps crosswise and upwards.







Taking off the surgical facemask

  1. Untie the upper straps behind the head or simply pull the knot loose;
  2. Do the same for the lower straps, remove the facemask;
  3. Make sure the hands do not touch the front side of the mask ;
  4. Never reuse a discarded facemask. Throw the mask in the bin immediately after use;
  5. Disinfect your hands.


  • LUMC - Persoonlijke beschermingsmiddelen (BPPC-protocol), versie: 15 januari 2020


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