November 16, 2019
The history of lab coat colors
When it comes to doctors, the first thing that comes to mind is their classic white lab coar and stethoscope around their necks. But if you think carefully, the doctors in operating room actually wear blue-green scrubs. Why is that? Do they want to make patients’ eyes more comfortable? Definitely not!
Back in the 19th century, when medical technology was less developed, the quality of doctors were not high. People did not trust doctors. Doctors dressed in black clothes that looked similar to clergymen. Later, Joseph Lister, a doctor from the United Kingdom, advocated the importance of disinfection, and suggested that doctors wear white lab coats so you can clearly see any dirt. This established the professional image of doctors.
As for the doctors in the operating room, they change to blue-green scrubs in order to do surgery more accurately. During the surgery, the doctors at looking at the blood-red tissues and organs for a long time, and that can lead to visual fatigue. The ability to recognize the subtle changes in red will be affected. Looking at blue-green can ease the pressure on the eyes and keep sensitivity to red. Meanwhile, blue-green can minimise the problem of “persistence of vision”, as the eyes look at one color for a long time and then shift to something else, it will appear complementary colors of the color you looked before. The complementary color of the red is blue-green. The blue-green scrubs also appear brown when stained with blood, making it less visually impactful than on white.
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