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Definition of «Stethoscope»


Stethoscope: An instrument used to transmit low-volume sounds such as the heartbeat (or intestinal, venous, or fetal sounds) to the ear of the listener. A stethoscope may consist of two earpieces connected by means of flexible tubing to a diaphragm placed against the skin of the patient.

The stethoscope has become one of the symbols of the medical profession. The origins of the stethoscope can be traced back to the French physician, Laënnec, who invented a crude model in 1819. It has undergone many modifications since then. The original consisted of a wooden box that served to help physicians hear the sounds within the chest cavity.

From the French "stethoscope" which was created from "stethos" (meaning chest in Greek) + scope.

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