Let's start with a good stethoscope

I recently received an e-mail for a new EMS product that makes this grand claim: "Not since the introduction of the stethoscope has one tool promised to do more to enhance emergency medicine and triage."

Wow! In more than 200 years of use, the stethoscope is more closely associated with the practice of medicine than any other piece of equipment. Will this new piece of equipment still be a focal point for emergency medicine in 2209?

Incidentally, the stethoscope was invented in the early 1800s as a single ear, or monaural, device. In the 1850s, the binaural stethoscope, similar to the construction we know today, was invented. The stethoscope is now ubiquitous in all forms of emergency medicine. EMS students stand out from their tech school cohorts as they walk the halls with a stethoscope slung around their necks.

Before I ask my operations director to purchase the new tool advertised to "enhance emergency medicine and triage," I am first going to ask for a good stethoscope for the back of the ambulance. Nothing fancy, just a good stethoscope for auscultating lung sounds and blood pressure.

ihttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stethoscope. Accessed August 26, 2009.

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