7 Major Milestones in the Operating Room (Timelines may shock you!)

7 Major PPE Milestones in the OR

Ok close your eyes and think of the operating room and who is there and what they are wearing.  You're probably seeing Doctors, Nurses, OR Techs etc.  They are most likely wearing scrub caps, masks, gloves, scrubs, head lights etc. You would be right.  This is the modern expectation for OR attire in todays day and age.  

Now what if I told you that this medical attire and mandatory PPE is relatively new.  Did you know that what we now consider to be normal PPE in the OR is less than a century old?? You heard me correctly. Let's explore the major PPE milestones in the OR. 

18th Century & Prior 

Surgery was performed in regular street clothes.  Yes you heard that right.  The surgeons would simply roll up their sleeves before beginning surgery.


"Scrubbing in" become regular practice 


Early 19th Century

Surgery was performed with a black frock coat the surgeon who place over their normal attire to keep bodily fluids from dirtying their clothing.  These coats were seen as a "badge of honour" and the dirtier and more blood stained the coat the better the surgeon was viewed. 


Surgical caps were introduced to the OR attire.



The introduction of using gloves in the OR.  


The introduction of using masks in the OR. 


Routine hand washing was introduced to practice in the healthcare environment. 


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