History of medical clothing: what were the first types and how they developed
Doctors were not always associated with white coats. Moreover, the first protective clothing was black, and for a long time surgeons used only aprons. But then there was a turning point that gave impetus to the development of medical clothing as we know it today. What served to form the white coat and how has it changed to the present?
The history of clothes for doctors: the first models
Initially, surgical operations were performed with non-sterile instruments. It is not surprising that no one thought about the need for protective clothing. In order not to get dirty, they used only armbands and an apron, it was not about their own safety.
The need for individual protection of medical personnel arose during the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918, so doctors began to listen to the aseptic theory of Joseph Lister, voiced in 1860. Since then, protective clothing and masks have been a mandatory attribute of medical personnel.
The first model of medical clothing was an anti-plague suit, which was used during plague and cholera epidemics in ancient times. This garment was like a long shapeless black hoodie. To protect the face, a mask with a beak was made from wood or leather, in which aromatic oils and herbs were placed. Glass lenses were inserted into the eye holes.
A single standard of medical clothing did not exist until the middle of the 19th century. There was a clear division only between surgeons and general practitioners. The first were considered craftsmen, wore ordinary clothes and performed mainly bloodletting and tooth extraction.
The status of other doctors was emphasized by a robe made of noble fabrics, decorated with precious stones. Soon, for convenience, they were changed to ordinary coats, which were worn constantly and not washed for a long time, because blood stains were considered a sign of popularity and experience of a doctor.
Where was the white coat invented and the stages of its transformation
The first mentions of white medical clothing date back to the end of the 19th century. Who first wore white coats? During the Franco-Prussian War, they were constantly used by the Germans. Sterile gowns and caps have become the permanent uniform of medical personnel since 1883 at the suggestion of the German surgeon Gustav Neuber, and his Polish colleague Jan Mikulicz developed a gauze mask model in 1897. The medical uniform of that time was fixed with ties on the back, the gowns acquired their usual appearance in the 20th century. in the post-war period.
Reasons for choosing white medical clothing:
- calms the patient
- dirt is clearly visible on it
- is easily sterilized
- does not shed
- a doctor in white is easy to distinguish in a crowd.
Over time, it became clear that the white color in the bright light of the operating room blinds surgeons, so in the 50s of the XX century. operating personnel began to change to uniforms of green and blue hues. In the 1970s, surgical suits took on a modern look – blouses without fasteners and straight-cut pants. At the same time, robes with colored inserts appeared for the identification of the staff of the institution or a separate department.
With the development of technologies, non-woven materials were invented, with which the individual protection of medical personnel reached a qualitatively new level. Medical clothing was divided into reusable and disposable, the assortment was replenished with medical suits, overalls, skirts and dresses.
Modern trends in medical clothing
The evolution of medical clothing is aimed at strengthening its protective functions and convenience for users. Modern medical uniform protects against penetration:
- bacteria and viruses
- steam and aggressive substances.
Among the materials for the production of medical clothing, mixed fabrics with different ratios of cotton and synthetic fibers confidently hold the primacy. They are easy to care for and retain their attractive appearance for a long time. Impregnation and lamination are used to increase protection.
The color range of medical clothing today is very wide, as is the choice of styles. Therefore, women can choose a bright form that emphasizes the figure, and men can choose practical dark colors and a comfortable free cut.
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