A stethoscope is every doctor’s compulsory tool. It helps doctors to diagnose almost all kinds of illnesses through listening to the sounds produced by the body, including cardiac sounds, heartbeats, and breathing patterns. It can also be used to detect bowel sounds in patients suffering from abdominal problems.
Stethoscopes were first invented in 1816 by Rene Laennec. The very first one featured a long tube that was made from wood and a single hearing aid. As years went by, several modifications were made to it and by the 20th century, many models had already been developed.
When purchasing a stethoscope, a few features must come to mind. A good stethoscope is one that you can easily carry around and fit on the ears, as stated by the Stethoscope Lab which outlines a comprehensive buying guide for medical doctors. Generally, stethoscopes fall under five distinct types. These include:
The Electronic Stethoscope which is capable of producing a flawless output. Electronic stethoscopes work by modifying acoustic waves into electric signals. The signals are then amplified to facilitate easier hearing by the listener. They are thus effective for detecting dull sounds.
The Acoustic Stethoscope is the most common. It features a chest piece, two tubes and hearing aids. It is not fit for faint sounds and the doctor may need a quiet environment to use it on a patient. Acoustic stethoscopes are limited to chest sounds.
A Recordable Stethoscope has a cord that connects to a recording device. It allows the doctor to save audio output for further analysis and examination and is useful when more consultation and research is required.
A Fetal Stethoscope takes the shape of a trumpet. It is used to examine pregnant women by placing on the abdomen to check the heartbeat of the developing child. However, with the rapid advancement in technology, most hospitals have replaced the fetoscope with a sonaid which is both electronic and more advanced in terms of features and capability.
The Noise Reduction Stethoscope is similar to the electronic stethoscope but has the ability to block unwanted noise. It has noise filters that only allows the appropriate sound to pass through. Noise reduction stethoscopes are great for environments that have a lot of noise.
Although advancements in the medical field have caused several dramatic changes, the stethoscope has remained as relevant to the field as it was several centuries ago. Many doctors still prefer to use the standard models. Nonetheless, some online medical stores offer a great variety and help you save time and money through large discounts and free shipping opportunities.