Stethoscope: From Paris with love

Medical people use stethoscopes for auscultation, a method used to listen to internal organs of animals as well as humans. It is perhaps the most popular medical device known to all. The small disc resonator usually placed on chest came as result of embarrassment felt by a physician in Paris, by name Rene Laennec, who felt it was wrong to place his ear against the chest of a woman in 1816, as told by  Stethoscope Lab.He experimented with a cardboard rolled into hollow device and placed it against her chest, the result was surprised, he could hear the heartbeats of the woman clearly, and an amiable physician in France proved the fact that necessity is the father of invention right.

  • History of stethoscope

The stethoscope is taken from two Greek words: stethos, which stands for chest, and   scopos, which means examination. Though to listen to heartbeats, physicians relied on the suggestion of Hippocrates a 350 BC physician that made placing the head against the chest the only way to listen to internal organs.

This method was the only means of examining patients until 1816 when the French physician rolled a paper to a funnel and placed it on the chest of his female patient. The invention of stethoscope ended the era of immediate auscultation that is placing the ear against the body of the patient.

  • Functions of stethoscope

A stethoscope as a resonator that is in the shape of a disc, with an earpiece connected by two tubes, when placed on the chest, it can read heartbeats and lungs. It can read blood flow in veins and arteries, as well as intestinal movements. It is commonly used to measure blood pressure.

Electronic stethoscopes were made in the 1970s to amplify chest sounds and generate graphs are useful in the diagnosis of various illnesses. Stethoscopes are not just to observe chests, but intestines, bowels and useful during anti-natal care.

However, stethoscopes found use in other fields aside from the humans and animals healthy, in machines; it sparingly used to monitor the internal sound of machines and engines. The mechanical use of stethoscopes is not as famous as medical.

Stethoscopes make medical practice simple, more need to place the head against the chest of patients; though no need to have physical contact when diagnosing patients. No better way to appreciate France than to appreciate the gift the young physician gave to the world.