Why Doctors Wear Green Or Blue Clothing During Surgery



Welcome home my dear friend.

Have you ever pondered over why green or blue scrubs are usually worn in the operating room?

While this may appear insignificant, this practice can actually determine the success of every surgical operation.

Surgeons have not always donned scrubs in the operating room.

As a matter of truth, it was not until the 1918 flu pandemic and the rise of the antiseptic theory that led to the use of surgical masks, rubber gloves, antiseptic drapes, gowns, and caps in the operating room.


Soon after, surgeons started to wear white while operating to associate themselves with the color of cleanliness.

It was during this time in the early 20th century, that surgeons started to realize issues with their seemingly harmless white scrubs.

The key problem is that an immaculate white color can actually blind surgeons for several moments if they shift their gaze from the dark color of blood to the scrubs of their colleagues.

Similar effect occurs when you first go outside in winter and see the sunlight reflected off snow.

It came to the point that during surgery, doctors started to get headaches from staring at the white scrubs of their colleagues for too long.

In the year 1914, one influential doctor switched to green scrubs when operating because he thought it would be easier on his eyes, according to an article in a 1998 issue of Today’s Surgical Nurse.

Eventually, surgeons all across the world started to trade in their white scrubs for blue or green.

In fact this also made it easier for employees at hospitals who had the very difficult job of trying to remove blood stains from doctors garments.

However, this still does not explain why surgeons opted for green and blue as the primary colors for their scrubs and not purple or yellow.

The fact is that green and blue are the opposite of red on the spectrum of visual light, and during an operation, a surgeon is nearly always focusing on red colors.

Green is well-suited to help surgeons see better in the operating room because it is the exact opposite of red on the color wheel.

Because of the foregoing reason, the green and blue colors not only help to improve a surgeon’s visual acuity but also make them more sensitive to different shades of red.

Following that, it helps them pay greater attention to the nuances of human anatomy, which significantly reduces the likelihood that they will make a mistake during an operation.

Please understand that Red can lead to distracting green illusions on white surfaces.

So if a surgeon shifts his glance from bloody organs to a white lab coat, a green illusion of the patient’s red insides may appear on the white background.

Thank you very much for your time and attention.

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