Friday, August 27, 2021


The stethoscope is one the most basic instruments used in diagnosing health problems and treating patients. Stethoscope was invented in 1816 by the French physician Rene Theophile Hyacinthe Laënnec (1781-1826). Laënnec was a military surgeon during the Revolution and Napoleon era.

Stethoscopes are used to transmit the sounds from a patient to the ears of the practitioner. The sound waves from the patient are transmitted to the scope’s bell or diaphragm of the chest piece via direct contact with the patient. The sounds are then transmitted down the tubing of the scope and into the binaural earpieces and into the ear.

Eartips are the parts that fit into the user ear. They should fit snugly, sealing out ambient noise and helping the user to focus on auscultation.

Stethoscope tubing is designed to transfer acoustic sound waves channeled by the stethoscope’s diaphragm and bell to the practitioner during auscultation. The thickness of the tube is an important factor in enhancing the efficiency of sound transference. Thicker stethoscope tubing transfers sound waves more efficiently while minimizing acoustic interference from the ambient environment.

Stethoscopes are used primarily for assessing the subtleties of cardiac (heart) and pulmonary (lung) sounds and to determine the presence or absence of bowel sounds. An ideal stethoscope should be able to deliver to the ears, without important loss or distortion, all audible physiological phenomena. These sounds normally fall in the acoustic range of 60-600 cycles per second, with some unimportant components of mitral diastolic murmurs below 60 and a few pulmonary rhonchi and rales as high as 1,000 cycles.

With the recent advancement in electronic technology, the digital and electronic stethoscope is gaining popularity day-by-day. Electronic stethoscopes can provide better sound quality with variable amplification, minimize interference noise, and provide data for visualization and storage.

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