Green and Blue colors are opposite to red on the color wheel
The color wheel was developed in an attempt to explain color perception in human eyes. In his book “Theory of Colors”, the famous poet Goethe has written, “…for the colors diametrically opposed to each other… are those that reciprocally evoke each other in the eye.”
Retinal Cone cells have three types of pigments for the perception of red (erythrolabe), green (chlorolabe) and bluish-violet (cyanolabe) colors. They undergo a reaction similar to the visual cycle of rhodopsin in Rod cells. When the surrounding objects are green or blue colored, the pigment for red color gets enough time to resynthesize, thus enabling the surgeon to detect even small hemorrhages in the operation field.
This phenomenon is also important in the medicine wards (inpatient departments) to identify blood in patient’s clothes or bed. If the bed cover were red or orange or pink it would have been more difficult to detect.
Blood stain is difficult to remove from clothes
So once the bed gets soiled with blood its mark would remain even after three or four washings, new patients would find it annoying and uncomfortable to use that cloth or bed cover, this is a practical issue in resource-poor countries where the same cloth is used after disinfection. Light colors (like white, yellow, pink etc) are avoided for this reason also.
Soothing effect on eye
In operating rooms under the bright flashlight (called Operating Light or Surgical Lighthead) it would be extremely difficult to focus due to the glare of reflected light from the white clothing, draping or OT table cover. Green color absorbs all other colors of the visual spectrum and reflects only the green color, so it is much relaxing to our eyes.
It is scientifically confirmed (references — 1 and 2) that green color is relaxing to both our eye and mind, so it is a good choice in hospital settings.
The Red color is avoided for cultural reasons also…in some culture red signifies death. Red is a danger sign, (traffic light, Alarms), attention grabbing (e.g. in fire extinguishers). So it is better avoided in hospital settings to reduce psychological stress.
- What’s in a Color? The Unique Human Health Effects of Blue Light,
- Seeing Life through Positive-Tinted Glasses: Color–Meaning Associations, PLoS One.
Learni is an educational wiki where everyone can write articles and edit articles written by other people. This is the platform to write on a difficult to understand concept or just about a educational topic — thus contributing towards the community.
Originally published at Learni