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Auscultation

from the Latin verb: auscultare – to listen
German: Auskultation

1 Definition

Auscultation is one of the fundamental techniques used by medical doctors. It describes the use of the examiners hearing to perceive internal body sounds and its use as a diagnostic method.

2 Methods

Auscultation can be performed directly by placing one’s ear on the body of the patient or indirectly with the help of a stethoscope or hearingtube. In a broader sense the electronic collection and amplification of body sounds can also be considered as a type of auscultation.

3 History

The method of auscultation by directly placing the ear on the patient’s body has been performed since ancient times. The indirect auscultations, as a standardized method, was introduced by the French physician René Laënnec (1781-1826) who was the first to make use of a hearing tube. Laënnec was the personal physician of Napoleon I. Bonaparte.

4 Types

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