Auscultation is he act and result of auscultation. East verb can be used with reference to medical practice consisting of listening to the sounds made by the organs in the chest or belly to analyze them and detect eventual pathologies. To auscultate is also to inquire about the state of something or about the thoughts of an individual regarding a certain theme.
It can be said that auscultation involves exploring the Body of the patient by listening, either with instruments or directly, to the sounds that are produced in the rib cage or abdomen. These noises can be caused by heart contraction or by the air passing through the lungs, for example.
In ancient times, to perform auscultation, the doctor used to bring his ear close to the patient’s body to listen directly to the sounds. Also, at times, he appealed to a kind of tube to hear more clearly.
Currently auscultation is carried out with an instrument called stethoscope or stethoscope, which presents a membrane connected to headphones. The stethoscope optimizes acoustics so that sounds are better received by the physician.
These changes throughout the history of the medicine are reflected in the fundamental classification of auscultation:
* immediate: the doctor rests his ear on the patient’s body to listen to the noises without the help of any instrument. As mentioned above, this is an old method, and it is practically no longer used;
* by horn: a tube is used in a similar shape to that of a trumpet, the widest part of which rests on the patient’s body while at the other end the doctor perceives the sounds. Formerly, this type of auscultation was used to control the condition of the fetus, but at present ultrasound is enough;
* mediate: It consists of the use of the stethoscope, and it is the most widespread in the world, since it is more precise and versatile than the previous ones.
The cardiac auscultation, which is performed at different points in the chest, allows the professional to detect murmurs, which are symptom of a possible heart valve problem. To develop this evaluation the doctor asks the patient to inhale air, hold it and then exhale it.
Other kinds of auscultation are digestive auscultation, the lung auscultation and the obstetric auscultation (which consists of listening to the heartbeat of the fetus with a Doppler ultrasound).
Digestive auscultation consists of the application of the campaign of the stethoscope in each of the quadrants of the abdomen to listen to the movements of the intestines. Depending on factors such as the intensity and frequency of the noises perceived by the professional using this technique, they can determine if the patient’s condition is normal or if they have any pathology.
To evaluate the air flow through the tracheobronchial tree, pulmonary auscultation combined with percussion is carried out; collectively, they also allow the clinician to study the pleural space patient. The fundamental objectives of this technique are the following three:
* listen to the noises generated by breathing;
* perceive the so-called noises adventitious or additions (they are those that overlap those of normal breathing and are always signs of pathology chronic or acute);
* If the doctor believes that the patient has an abnormality, then he also tries to listen to the sounds of the voice that reach the chest wall.
For the evaluation, the patient can stand or sit; the doctor places the stethoscope on both sides of the spine, on the front of the chest and on the sides, while telling the first to breathe in or out.