is a tool that all medical personnel, from nurse aides to the most seasoned doctors, must have and understand the usage of. A non invasive medical auscultation device that is used to detect heart and lung sounds was invented in 1816 by rolling a stack of paper into a cylinder, pressing one end to the patient's chest, and holding the other end to your ear. Then in 1850, a 'binaural' stethoscope, with two ear pieces, was manufactured and is the blueprint for today's models. Stethoscopes are designed to be used for medical purposes only and if used wrong, could cause damage to the user's ears. Children love to play doctor and/or nurse with a stethoscope around their neck or in their ears, let them play with them but with close supervision.
Webster's dictionary defines a stethoscope as: A hearing instrument used in auscultation, for examining the heart, lung, etc. by listening to the sounds they make.
Mosby's medical, nursing, and allied health dictionary definition is: An instrument consisting of two earpieces connected by means of flexible tubing to a diaphragm, which is placed against the skin of the patient's chest or back to hear heart and lungs sounds. It is also used to hear bowels sounds. There are 26 locations to hear heat and lung sound.
Wikipedia's definition: An acoustic medical device for auscultation, or listening, to the internal sounds of an animal body. It is often used to listen to lung and heart sounds. It is also used to listen to intestines and blood flow in arteries and veins. In combination with a sphygmomanometer, it is commonly used for measurements of blood pressure.
Since then, many types of stethoscopes have been made for different usages: The Rappaport-Sprague, Acoustic stethoscope, electronic stethoscope, and recording stethoscope. The dual head that combines flexibility and performance has been clinically proven to deliver more faint heart sounds and detect more murmurs than any other stethoscope. There are infant and neonatal stethoscopes for newborns. A cardiology stethoscope can be use to detect the faint sounds of the geriatric heart. Pediatric stethoscopes are for younger patients. Medical schools can even use a four person teaching stethoscope so students can hear the same heart beat, at the same time, as the teacher.
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