The Invention Of The Stethoscope By Laennec

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The invention of the stethoscope by Laennec marks a significant change of the medical practice after the French Revolution. At the time, the early theory of health and healing was humoral in which the primary focus was aiming to balance the vital fluid of the body. Physicians would listen to the patient’s narration on their descriptive feeling and pain for analysis and diagnosis. As physicians started to shift their curiosity to the access to the living body, the development of the stethoscope has further embrace the new approach. The story begins with Laennec’s hesitation to press his ears on a lady’s bare chest to diagnose her. In his surprise, he could hear clearly the motion of her body from a rolled paper setting one end to her chest as…show more content…
The stethoscope can be viewed as a more precise technique in compared to the traditional percussion method, in which the physician can listen to the sounds in the patient’s chest. In the percussion method, the diagnosis is ambiguous due to the difficulty of being able to distinct the different sounds of the anatomical parts in the respiratory system. For example, one way to diagnose the patients was to check the airway of the aegophonism by holding the finger at the patient’s throat. However, this traditional method is uncertain since many causes can affect the airway that could not be identify. Stethoscope allows the physician to hear the distinction by giving an apparent sound (Laennec 23). Hence, even Laennec recognized that at the moment of his discovery, he knew that this invention would be the key to study any body movements in the thoracic activity (Porter ). In his text of On Mediate Auscultation, he acknowledged that the invention of the stethoscope can assist the careful examination of either a human living or dead bodies (Laennec 8). This allows the physicians to be dominant in the physician and patient relationship since the diagnosis would no longer be centralized around the patient’s narrations. Thus, the modern medical practice has gradually deviated from the emphasis on patient’s narration to the emphasis on…show more content…
The physician and patients no longer share the same language with the new instrument’s introduction. Laennec shows that multiple trials using the stethoscope were needed to be conducted to form a reference for the future guidance (Laennec 61). In fact, since the sound of the respiratory system could be distinguished into different segments, further studies and training on the anatomy based education were required. For example, one of the guidance depicts that the sound of the lateral region is always good on the left side due to the position of the liver higher than usual (Laennec 21). Hence, medical education and training on the anatomy was important for the patient diagnosis through the method of

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