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Stethoscope essential tool for medical practictioners and students  

Friday, April 18, 2008

What is a stethoscope?

That is something you would see hanging down from the necks of doctors and even medical students, a photo of which you would see below:

The saying goes that a photo is worth a trillion words (my own version) so I don't think with the photo, we need to elaborate on what a stethoscope is.

Function of a stethoscope

Doctors uses the stethoscope to listen to sounds in the human body, sounds like heart beats, sounds from the lungs while breathing in and out, to flow of blood through veins and arteries. Medical students too will have to learn to use the stethoscopes for the same purposes. So do veterinarians who use them to listen to sounds in animal bodies. Those techies (people who like to use technical terms, my own interpretation) will call this process of listening to the internal sounds of the body "auscultation". The purpose of auscultation is to examine the respiratory system (heart sounds and breath sounds), circulatory system and the gastrointestinal system (bowel sounds). Auscultation is not an easy skill to acquire but requires lots and lots of clinical experience plus good listening skills. That is why you will even see medical students with those stethoscopes hanging round their necks.

Diagnostic uses of stethoscopes

Doctors listen for abnormal sounds including heart murmurs, gallops, other extra sounds coinciding with heartbeats plus the heart beats itself when auscultating the heart. When auscultating the lungs, doctors will watch out for sounds such as wheezes and crackles. Asthma is diagnosed when wheezing sounds are heard and depending on how serious, patients may be put on various medications such as putting them on inhalers. The best is to use a nebulizer where those suffering from wheezing get a mouth and nose piece covering their mouth and nose and breathe in air containing very tiny droplets of medication (mist) which can reach the very deep recesses of the lungs for direct action to stop the wheezing. In very serious cases, may even be hospitalized. My youngest son at a very tender age was hospitalized, and not only that, given steroids which I hate. But what to do. It was necessary to protect his life for severe cases of asthma can be life threatening.

There is now even an online training for auscultation

To purchase medications for asthma, you may try to purchase medications for asthma online. Please note the disclaimer in this and that site where you are advised to consult your doctor or doctors for medical problems and you would be wise to comply with the laws and regulations of your countries regarding prescription medications. Don't know about herbal medical medications.

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