There are lots of stethoscopes for sale in the market. They can even be easily purchased online. But before a stethoscope became what you know as it is now, it would be nice to take a step back and learn its origin.
Would you believe that the first stethoscope actually looked like a trumpet? It didn’t only look like a trumpet; it looked very much like a wooden trumpet! It was invented by a French student of medicine in 1816. His name was Rene Theopile Laennec.
During this time, doctors listened to the body sounds by directly putting their ears against their patient’s body. Laennec, during a medical examination of a young woman believed to have a heart problem, had a difficulty hearing through the patient’s chest. She was stout.
Due to the layers of fats under her skin, the doctor had a hard time hearing the sounds in her chest clearly. Besides, being a woman, the male Laennec didn’t feel very comfortable putting his head against her bosom for a long time. As a result, he suddenly came up with the idea of rolling a bundle of paper tightly into a tube.
He placed one end of this tube onto the patient’s chest and listened from the other end. He was astounded as to how much clearer the sound of the heartbeat could be heard with the use of his makeshift instrument.
Later, Laennec developed the first wooden stethoscope. He also published a book describing his invention and the diagnoses that may be made using it. In 1819, the publisher of his book gave a stethoscope to whoever purchased it.
As time went buy, modifications were made to the wooden stethoscope. As it is with everything, technology reigns. Modern-day stethoscopes for sale have flexible tubes so the doctor would not have to stand directly above the patient just to listen to his or her heartbeat. Imagine how much more convenient they have become! And unlike the first stethoscope which had two parts only, a modern stethoscope has now five parts: the earpieces, binaural, tubing, chill ring, and chest piece.
- Earpieces – Also called the ear tips. They allow the sound from inside the body to be
heard by the user. When the earpieces are placed near the ear canal, it is important that they are positioned facing forward to enable the user to hear the sounds clearly and distinctly.
2.Binaural – Also called the ear tubes. This is the metal portion of the instrument. This is where the tubing and ear pieces are fitted. Some binaural can be rotated to help the user have a more comfortable fit.
3.Tubing – This may be made from neoprene, PVC, or other materials. This is the part which transmits the sound from the chest piece to the ear tips.
4.Chill ring – This is the removable outer ring at the end of the stethoscope. This is the one which holds the diaphragm in place. It serves as the barrier between the metal chest piece and the skin of the patient.
5.Chest piece – Also called the head, this may be single-sided or double-sided. It is made from zinc, stainless steel, aluminum, titanium or other alloys. Some heads have batteries in them for an enhanced digital mode.
The next time you see a stethoscope, or find some stethoscopes for sale, you would realize how much they have evolved and how important their roles are. Although some technologies like CAT and MRI can now be used to hear and see what’s happening within a person’s body, the stethoscope is still a staple instrument a doctor can’t afford not to have.
We have included various resources to help you. They include detail about electronic stethoscopes, pediatric stethoscopes, stethoscope parts , the ultrascope and the history behind the stethoscope.