How Does a Stethoscope Work?

The stethoscope is one of the most commonly used diagnostic devices by doctors, today. In fact, the stethoscope is how doctors are symbolized in the modern generation because of how often doctors are found wearing them. However, contrary to popular belief, the invention of the stethoscope, initially, was not intended to amplify the sounds in the human body, but because the physician Rene Laennec was uncomfortable placing his ear directly on women’s chest in order to diagnose their conditions.

The first-ever stethoscopes were just hollow tubes whose designs were almost indistinguishable from trumpets, which were progressively modified by inventors into more complex and convenient designs to facilitate the purpose more efficiently, reaching the point of its highest development with Doctor David Littmann’s stethoscope.

Over the years, the countless ways the stethoscope helps doctors all around the world diagnose patients with the help of sound is simply marvelous and in this article, we will find out all about how this simply magnificent diagnostic tool works.

A basic stethoscope is mainly made up of three parts: The chest piece, the tube, and the headset. So let us understand how these parts work together to allow sound to travel from the patient’s body to the doctor’s ears.

The Chest Piece: The chest piece is made up of two parts, on one side of the chest piece is a flat, metal disc that contains another flat plastic disk within, these disks make the larger part of the chest piece called the diaphragm that picks up on the high pitch sounds like the heartbeat, et cetera. On the other hand, a small, hollow piece of metal is found on the other side of the chest piece called the bell, that picks up the low pitch sounds in the human body. These bells are always open in some models and in others they are covered with a diaphragm, that can be used for younger or thin patients.

The Tube: The job of the tube is to make sure that the sounds picked up by the diaphragm reach the earpiece and thus the doctor’s ears. It is a hollow rubber tube that’s connected to the chest piece as a single tube and then splits into two tubes carrying the sound from the chest piece to both the ears of the diagnostician.

The Headset: The headset comprises three simple parts: The ear tubes, the ear tips, and the tension springs. The tension springs are within the headset and help the individual pull apart or squeeze the ear tubes together as per his convenience and the ear tips are found at the two ends of the headset through which the sound travels the doctor’s ears. The ear tips are made out of rubber to provide comfort to the user and to block any unnecessary noise around, efficiently ensuring the diagnostician is able to listen to the sounds picked up by the chest piece.

Well, we’re sure by now you have understood how exactly the stethoscope works and the way its different parts come together to carry sounds from the patient’s body to the doctor’s ears. And to buy stethoscopes online from the world’s biggest medical brands, click here and get the best discounts on your orders.