A Brief Overview of Stethoscopes
What Are Stethoscopes?
Stethoscopes are used to detect small sounds inside of the human body or a machine that aren’t loud enough to be detected by human hearing. The most common version of the device has a bell at one end to amplify the subtle sounds, and they do not use any electronics. However, there are other versions that use other technologies, including computer technology. Stethoscopes that are used by doctors are often designed in such a way that they can be worn around the neck.
These devices are essential for medical doctors, because they enable them to hear the patient’s heartbeat, measure blood pressure, orthopedic sounds, bowel sounds, the sound of the lungs, and noises emitted by other organs. This is essential for doctors to properly diagnose and treat diseases. In addition to doctors, other medical professionals, such as nurses, use stethoscopes on the job. In some cases, they are used by mechanics and other professionals working with machinery.
What types of Stethoscopes are available?
There are multiple types of stethoscopes available. When most people picture a stethoscope, they picture a simple device that does not use electronics. This is the most common form of stethoscope, but high tech stethoscopes are being used more frequently. Some high tech, electronic stethoscopes even have the capacity for imaging.
When electronics are used for a stethoscope, the signal can be transmitted wirelessly. This means that the person listening to the sounds does not even have to be in the same room with the person or machine that is being examined, and they could even be many miles away. Additionally, the technology has become advanced enough that it is even possible for the sounds to be transmitted to a mobile device. These stethoscopes play a crucial role in the relatively new field of telemedicine.
In addition, electronic stethoscopes have the capability of recording the sounds detected. This can allow the examiner to examine them in far greater detail.
Some electronic stethoscopes use the Doppler effect to create an image by picking up on sound. These instruments are commonly referred to as ultrasounds. The sounds picked up on by these stethoscopes for imaging purposes is beyond the limits of human perception, not just due to their volume but their high frequency. Sounds detected by the human ear cannot be any more than 20,000 hertz. Ultrasounds can pick up on sounds more than 10 times higher than this limit.
They are used very widely in obstetrics, and most hospitals have a high quality ultrasound device that is most commonly used for obstetrics purposes. However, these devices are also used in other branches of medicine, such as cardiology. They are able to provide a fairly clear image of the inside of the body of the patient and the fetus. Additionally, Doppler stethoscopes have the capacity to work in extremely noisy environments. If the ambient sound is nearly 110 decibels, they can still work well. This is the volume of sound emitted by a typical power saw.
Another type of stethoscope that is used commonly in obstetrics is the fetal horn. Fetal horns have a conical shape, and they are designed to simply amplify sounds that are too quiet for the human ear to detect.
When are Stethoscopes used for machinery:
Mechanics that work with automobiles sometimes use stethoscopes. These stethoscopes are used to listen to the valve train, transmission, transfer case, engine, and rear axle. It is common for auto mechanics can use stethoscopes to find leaks, such as leaking head gaskets.
Those researching phenomena that occur in outer space often require a vacuum chamber, because the environment of space is airless. When vacuum chambers are created, a stethoscope is necessary to check for leaks. If this check is not done, even tiny air leaks could potentially ruin an experiment that requires a truly airless environment.
The use of Stethoscopes by the public:
In addition to medical professionals and those working with machinery, some members of the general public own stethoscopes for their own use. Those that suffer from high or low blood pressure may be advised by their doctor to keep tabs on their blood pressure at home. In order to get the most accurate measurement, these patients may use a stethoscope to monitor their blood pressure at home. In addition, pregnant women sometimes use stethoscopes to listen to the sounds of the fetus or even see an ultrasound image of it.
Some women purchase or rent ultrasound technology (e.g. Doppler stethoscopes) for home use. These can provide an image of the baby, or they sometimes are simply able to detect the heartbeat. However, it is important for anyone interested in getting home ultrasound technology to purchase a quality device, because there are many low quality ultrasound devices on the market that won’t be powerful enough to be effective.
In addition, women who are pregnant can also use fetal horns to listen to the sounds of the fetus. These devices can be effective at allowing the listener to hear obvious sounds, such as the heartbeat and movement of the fetus.
Where can Stethoscopes be found?
While stethoscopes are available in any medical supplies store, they also are available in many other types of offline stores. Additionally, they are available on e-commerce websites, such as Ebay.com and Amazon.com. These websites sell all of the types of stethoscopes. While there are many brands of stethoscopes on the market, they can vary significantly in quality. This can make a big difference in terms of how well the device detects the sounds you are looking for. You can read reviews from buyers to determine the quality of stethoscopes that are sold on any major e-commerce.
How do you use a Stethoscope?
In order to use a traditional stethoscope, you simply place the bell against what you are examining while you are wearing the earpieces. Doctors will position the stethoscope over the internal area of the body that they are observing. The stethoscope can be moved around to detect sounds in different parts of the body or machine that is being examined. Using the stethoscope is extremely simple, but one has to be trained to know what sounds to look for.
Doppler telescopes (e.g. ultrasounds) work differently. When you use an ultrasound, there is not always a need for earpieces or headphones. This is because they sometimes produce an image rather than just sound. Sometimes sounds detected from the ultrasound are emitted using a speaker or can be listened to via headphones. You simply turn on the machine, and then you move the detector over the area of the body that you are imaging or listening to. However, it is important to move the device over the surface of the body, in order to get a quality image.
If a fetal horn stethoscope is being used, you simply place the large end of the horn on the body. You insert the small end into the ear, and then listen carefully for sounds being emitted by the fetus.