Wednesday Wisdom: The History of the Stethoscope
The history of the stethoscope is pretty fascinating, and contributes to how medical professionals diagnose patients. We all know that a stethoscope is a tool that medical professionals use to listen to your organs, blood flow, and the lungs. But do you know more about who invented it, and why it is helpful in diagnosing ailments? Click to read more about the history of stethoscopes!
A Short History
The stethoscope was invented in 1816 by French physician Rene Laennec. Before, physicians would put their ear on the patient’s chest. Laennec felt uncomfortable practicing this way on female patients, so he invented a tube of paper that would amplify the sounds of the lungs and heart. The first stethoscope was actually made out of wood, as opposed to the plastic and metal ones found today.
How do Stethoscopes Work?
Stethoscopes work by transmitting sound. The medical professional will put the earpieces in their ears, and place the metal disk on the patient. The sounds will transmit from the metal piece, the diaphragm, up the hollow tube and into the earpieces. Depending on where the diaphragm is placed, it can hear sounds in the lungs, heart, and bowels. This is necessary in treating any ailments that might reveal uncommon sounds. Sometimes, patients in hospitals are quarantined, and disposable plastic stethoscopes are used on these patients, and then thrown away after one use.
Have you ever used a stethoscope? Do you like to use a stethoscope? Do you dislike the cold sensation from the metal? Is this a common complaint from patients? Do you agree that it is one of the symbols most commonly associated with medicine? Do you think this invention is cool, or will be phased out by something else? Click here for more trivia. As always, comment below!