Friday, November 27

What body sounds do doctors hear with the stethoscope (beyond your heartbeat)?

  • Lucia Blasco
  • BBC World News


Your heart beats, but it also makes noises …

Your body is full of sounds. Some are noticeable and even unpleasant; others, almost inaudible and strange. But all of them can be heard magnified through a device that was invented more than 200 years ago: the stethoscope.

Created in 1816 by the French physician René Laënnec, the initial wooden tube evolved into the membrane with the two rubber tubes that we now know. Thanks to this diagnostic tool, we have unusual access to the internal sounds of the human body (and animal, by the way).

Laënnec said that his apparatus was used to “listen to the sounds of the chest and other parts of the body.”

However, the cultism with which we define it today (stethoscope) only collects the first part of that definition: from ancient Greek stethos, what does it mean chest, Y kickone, What does it mean to explore (stethoscope is perhaps more faithful to its functionality: sound= sound; endo= internal).

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