When we go to the doctor, the first thing we notice is that the Stethoscope is always used for the first diagnosis. A stethoscope is a basic medical device used in the diagnosis of diseases. It is part of the typical image of a doctor, so much so that it is used as an icon in the symbology of Human Medicine. But, are you wondering where to place stethoscope for lung sounds? If yes, let’s find out below. Before we jump to find out the answer, it is important to learn more about stethoscope.
Stethoscope – its name derives from the Greek words stithos (chest) and escopé (observe), as it is used to listen to the sounds that are produced in the heart and lungs. Although it is also used to listen to intestinal sounds and other parts of the body, such as fetal movements in pregnancy, or to take blood pressure in conjunction with the cuff that presses the arm.
As a student of the Human Medicine career, the Stethoscope will be the first instrument you will have since you will use it throughout your academic and professional life.
Origin of the Stethoscope
A French doctor named René Laennec was invented in 1816, who was embarrassed to put his ear directly on the chest of the sick. During a visit to a patient, he thought of making a funnel with some sheets of paper and thus he observed that he heard the sounds of the heart better.
He then commissioned a wooden cylinder that later, with a shape more similar to a small trumpet, would be called Pinard’s. The act of listening is called auscultation, and it was the Czech doctor and professor Josef Skoda who developed the techniques for this, techniques that are still used today.
How to Use the Stethoscope?
The doctor adjusts the cardiology stethoscope in his ears, places the end with the diaphragm on the patient’s chest, be it the heart or lungs, or the corresponding body area. The stethoscope thus captures the vibrations of body sounds, amplified by the diaphragm or membrane.
In general, acoustic stethoscopes are more accurate than electric stethoscopes. At the same time, that it is auscultated, the doctor can help himself with percussion, tapping on the chest or heart, which will also produce sounds that will allow him to distinguish between the sound of a healthy organ from that of a problem. Now, let’s come to the main question – where to place stethoscope for lung sounds?
Where to Place Stethoscope for Lung Sounds?
A doctor places a dual head stethoscope at the lungs’ apex above the clavicle. The diaphragm helps to detect low-pitched sounds across the chest part. Normal sounds of the lungs occur in all parts of the chest area, including the rib cage’s bottom and right above the collarbones.
Sounds Heard With the Stethoscope:
– Listen to the blood flow: During the blood pressure measurement, the doctor will place the stethoscope on the brachial artery, which is in your arm, to listen to your blood flow. This will measure your blood pressure together with the inflatable cuff.
– Heartbeats: It can detect abnormalities such as a heart murmur or a racing heartbeat.
– Lung sounds: What you are looking for is listening to lung sounds to detect signs of congestion, wheezing or rales, as well as other respiratory abnormalities. Normally, you are asked to take deep breaths during the exam.
– Stomach sounds: To detect blockages or irregular gastrointestinal movements, the doctor will place the stethoscope in the abdominal area to listen to the sounds of the belly.
Significant Heart Murmur
Surely you have ever seen a stethoscope in your family doctor’s office. It is a cheap, non-invasive, and easy-to-use device. It is one of the most common tools in medical practice and it is used to examine the respiratory and cardiovascular systems (that is, the lungs and the heart).
Normally, cardiac auscultation is the first test to reveal evidence of underlying congenital heart disease. By placing the stethoscope on the chest and back, the doctor can listen to the heartbeat.
However, heart murmurs can also be caused by abnormal blood flow caused by certain congenital heart malformations. For example, blood flow through a valve may be restricted or the valve may not close properly. This can cause disturbances or cause blood to flow through the wrong lines.
Even if murmurs are caused by underlying heart disease, they do not have to be automatically associated with other symptoms. However, there are symptoms that indicate its presence, such as chest pain, heart rhythm disturbances, shortness of breath, fatigue, or, in more severe cases, cyanosis. Not all congenital heart disease produces abnormal sounds audible with a stethoscope. Surprisingly, the most complex cases usually do not cause any sound.
Other Tests to Confirm the Diagnosis
All patients with a heart murmur should have other tests to confirm the importance of the murmur. Although experienced clinicians (for example, pediatric cardiologists) may be able to distinguish between benign and significant murmurs and even suggest the type of latent defect and its location. Other tests are essential to obtain a firm diagnosis and examine further. Most likely, these other tests include the electrocardiogram (ECG) and echocardiography.
A high-Performance Instrument
The best Stethoscope is designed to be light and comfortable when worn or held on the neck while not in use or to sit neatly in the ears when in use. It is designed to provide quality sound insulation and good performance when listening to patients’ heartbeats, lung sounds, and blood flow. If you are a medical student, you need high performance and reliable stethoscope.
The stethoscope is not just something cold that the doctor places on our back, but it is a very important instrument that encourages the discovery of possible serious problems just by listening to what is happening inside us. We hope that now you have found the answer to your question – where to place stethoscope for lung sounds?