René Laënnec's birthday: search engine Google celebrates the inventor of the stethoscope

René Laënnec's birthday: search engine Google celebrates the inventor of the stethoscope

Birthday doodle: Google celebrates inventor of stethoscope
Google celebrates the doctor René Théophile Hyacinthe Laënnec. Today the Frenchman would have been 235 years old. He is considered the inventor of the stethoscope. The device that has become indispensable in modern medicine was initially just a simple wooden pipe.

The inventor of the stethoscope
Today René Laënnec, who is considered the inventor of the stethoscope, is honored by Google with a so-called doodle. The French doctor would have turned 235 on Wednesday. Laënnec was born on February 17th, 1781 in Quimper in Bretagne. With his invention, he achieved an important medical breakthrough in the early 19th century. At first it was just a wooden tube, today it is a standard tool for doctors all over the world: the stethoscope.

Idea came up during an investigation
It is said that he came up with his invention because he did not want to put his ear on a patient's chest for listening. Instead, he used a paper roll as an auditory tube, as is known from playing children. The doctor apparently found that he was hearing not so bad, but even better. The original stethoscope was born and the cornerstone for the revolution in the diagnosis of heart and lung diseases was laid.

First a simple wooden pipe
The first devices in the form of a wooden hearing tube reminded little of today's variants that hang around the shoulders of doctors. After this discovery, the Frenchman continued to work on ways to diagnose noise and published important work on the subject. Laënnec was 45 years old, he died in 1826. On this Wednesday the inventor of stethoscopes would have been 235 years old.

Stethoscopes in everyday medical practice
In everyday clinical practice, the stethoscope is used to intercept various organs such as the heart, lungs, intestine, arteries and also to measure blood pressure. Among other things, it records heart sounds, heart sounds, breathing sounds and secondary breathing sounds such as rattling, bowel sounds, vascular sounds (carotid artery) or childish heart sounds in pregnant women.

From the prank item to the gold-plated version
Nowadays even medical laypersons sometimes use stethoscopes. Health experts generally advise against self-diagnosis here. A wide variety of products can be found on the market: From cheap goods, which are often only used as gags, to inexpensive devices for medical students to gold-plated versions for vain chief physicians. A study by the University of Alabama, which was published in the journal "Cardinal Health", showed that the acoustic properties of the expensive and inexpensive stethoscopes metrologically ("computerized signal processing methods") as good as not ("no statistical differences") differentiate. (ad)

Author and source information

Video: Part One, Learning about stethoscopes,