History of Stethoscope Developments

Stethoscopes are medical devices that we can almost always see if we go to a doctor. History shows that the stethoscope has been developed since the 17th century in France, by a French doctor named René Théophile Hyacinthe Laënnec in 1816. Nevertheless, the concept of analysis through the sound of heartbeat was already known for a long time in the Egyptian literature. You can get personalized stethoscope by visiting our website.

Diagnosing through sounds from the human body has been reported in the ancient medical literature. Hippocrates, Father of Medicine, advocated seeking a practical instrument for medicine in 350 BC. Hippocrates used a method to use the ear directly to his chest and found that it was useful for detecting the accumulation of fluid present in the chest. In the 16th century, famous surgeon Ambroise Pare noted that “if there is any other material in the chest, we can hear his voice from a half-filled bottle”.

As mentioned above, a stethoscope was invented when a young doctor Laennec was checking a female patient. Laennec was embarrassed to place his ears in the chest, which was an auscultation method used by doctors at the time. He recalled a trick he learned as when he was a child who played the sound through a solid, then he rolled up 24 sheets of paper, placed one end to the ear and the other end to the woman’s chest. He was happy to find that from the paper cone he could hear the sound loud and clear. That was the first time recorded in the auscultation documentation using a stethoscope (Mediate Auscultation) on March 8, 1817, when Laennec examined Marie-Melanie Basset, who was 40 years old. Laennec called his tool “Le Cylindre,” which later turned into a “Stethoscope”, which comes from the Greek meaning ‘I see’ and ‘chest.’ He created a stethoscope from a piece of wood.

One end has a hole to place near the ear and the other end is concave. Laennec published it in a classical treatise on auscultation in 1819 in which he discussed the stethoscope as well as illustrated the design. The second edition was published in 1826 after Laennec died of Tuberculosis. The stethoscope is described as having a length of 12 inches and 1.5 inches with a 3/8 inch diameter hole. At that time, Stethoscopes can be bought for 2 francs. In a further development, the stethoscope itself is divided into two kinds, namely Monaural stethoscope and Binaural Stethoscope.