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Google doodle celebrates 235th birthday of stethoscope inventor René Laennec

The stethoscope was invented in 1816 by the French physician.

By: IANS | Published: February 17, 2016 11:41 am
Google doodle celebrates 235th birthday of stethoscope inventor René Laennec Google doodle celebrates 235th birthday of stethoscope inventor René Laennec

At a time when researchers are mulling over replacing stethoscope with smart devices, Google has created a doodle to mark what would have been the 235th birthday of Rene Laennec, the inventor of the stethoscope.

Prior to the invention of the stethoscope by the French physician, placing the ear or hand to the chest of the patients for examining heart complications was the norm.

But late in 1816, while examining an overweight woman suffering complications of the heart, Laennec realised that a simple device can aid physicians in avoiding the embarrassment of placing an ear to the chest of a woman and also help them better detect the symptoms of the diseased heart.

“While examining a patient suffering complications of the heart, Rene Laennec’s memory of a stroll taken months prior came rushing back,” Google wrote in a statement.

He observed two children playing with a long stick — one scraped it with a pin while the other listened giddily to the amplified sound on the other end. Recalling this, Laennec rolled up a piece of paper and pressed it to his patient’s chest.

The beating of her heart was suddenly audible and clear, and the stethoscope — an innovation that would fundamentally change the detection and diagnosis of lung and heart problems — was born, the statement said.

After several prototypes, he settled on an instrument that resembled a long, wooden tube. Using his invention, Laennec continued his research on sound in diagnostic medicine and made several important contributions to the field.

The google doodle depicts Laennec’s very first stethoscope besides the one that we know today.

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    Chad Lyons
    Feb 17, 2016 at 7:52 pm
    It is not wise to expose the flawed procedure without offering a solution. That said, I recommend the widespread use of digital stethoscopes. These devices have been available for over a decade. Many have the ability to record body sounds. Heart and lung sounds should be routinely stored to the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) and post processed with "smart systems". This method will prove invaluable in terms of lowering costs, improving quality and outcomes.
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      Chad Lyons
      Feb 17, 2016 at 6:08 pm
      The perpetual use of the device (stethoscope) and procedure (auscultation) is not what most think. There is no procedure so widely done that is as innefective and a source of enormous waste. If we kick a can down the road way beyond obsolescence we pay in medical costs, quality and outcomes. Wake up everyone! Oh yes, Happy Birthday Dr. Laennec!
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        Jeba
        Feb 17, 2016 at 6:15 am
        The google doodle depicts Laennec's very first stethoscope besides the one that we know today.Read more details from this video .youtube/watch?v=V3nbCFDlnB8
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