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René Laennec: Creator of the Stethoscope
Transcript of René Laennec: Creator of the Stethoscope
René Laennec was a French physician during the late 1700s. During his practice, some patients would need immediate auscultation. Auscultation is the act of listening to the internal sounds of the body. Doctors used this method of treatment by placing their ear directly on the patient's chest before the creation of the stethoscope.
Creation of the Stethoscope
Laennec thought the process of auscultation was not sufficient in listening to the chests' of his patients and so he decided to roll up a sheet of paper into a tube and placed one end on the patient's chest. Doing this, Laennec could hear the woman's lung sounds more magnified and clear. He later replaced the sheet of paper with a hollow wooden tube. Thus, creating the stethoscope in 1816.
Modern Day Usage
Diversified Health Occupations Textbook (Seventh Edition)
By the 1890s, the wooden stethoscope was ugraded to rubber and plastic, Binaural stethoscopes, which are used today, are made from these materials. They have two ear pieces and a bell-shaped end that is used on the body. This equipment is used for all parts of the body. Electronic stethoscopes that amplify chest sounds and produce graphs were created during the 1970s.
Irony of Laennec's Death
Laennec studied and diagnosed many medical conditions, such as tuberculosis and melanoma. He mostly conducted extensive research on tuberculosis. Unfortunately, Laennec was not aware of the disease's ability to spread and soon contracted TB. He succumb to his illness and died at the age of 45.