The stethoscope (from Greek στηθοσκόπιο, of στήθος, stéthos - chest an σκοπή, skopé - examination) is an acoustic medical device for auscultation, or listening to, internal sounds in a human or animal body. It is most often used to listen to heart sounds and breathing. It is also used to listen to intestines and blood flow in arteries and veins. Less commonly, "mechanic's stethoscopes" are used to listen to internal sounds made by machines, such as diagnosing a malfunctioning automobile engine by listening to the sounds of its internal parts. It can also be used to leak check vacuum chambers for scientific purposes.

Trivia about stethoscope

  • In 1816 timid Dr. Rene Laennec's reluctance to listen to patients' hearts the usual way caused him to invent this
  • In 1816 French physician Rene Laennec invented this device used to listen to the heart & lungs
  • In 1819, R. Laennec invented this doctor's instrument, but didn't say to warm it before use
  • Rene Laennec invented this to save a young woman from the shock of a man listening directly to her chest
  • In 1852 George Cammann gave physicians a version of this instrument that they could listen to with both ears
  • This device detects sounds produced within the body & conveys them to doctors' ears through tubes