Google doodles Rene Laennec celebrated with Google Doodle marking 235th birthday of stethoscope inventor

René Laennec’s shyness and a woman’s ample chest led to the invention of the most recognisable piece of medical equipment

It’s hard to imagine a doctor without picturing a stethoscope.

But before the invention of the medical instrument, physicians used to listen to a patient’s heart by placing their ear directly onto the chest.

7945795688_087412f926_zThat was until René Laennec’s breakthrough invention.

The French physician is celebrated in a Google Doodle marking what would have been his 235th birthday.

René-Théophile-Hyacinthe Laennec was born on February 17, 1781, in Quimper, France.

He was described as a gifted student who studied medicine under the direction of his uncle, also a physician, in Nantes before serving as a medical cadet in the French Revolution.

It’s hard to imagine a doctor without picturing a stethoscope.

It was Laennec’s shyness led him to invented the stethoscope in 1816.

While treating a young woman complaining of heart problems, he felt it improper to place his ear to her chest, particularly as she was overweight.

Writing in De l’Auscultation Médiate in 1819, he recounted: “I happened to recollect a simple and well-known fact in acoustics, … the great distinctness with which we hear the scratch of a pin at one end of a piece of wood on applying our ear to the other.

“Immediately, on this suggestion, I rolled a quire of paper into a kind of cylinder and applied one end of it to the region of the heart and the other to my ear, and was not a little surprised and pleased to find that I could thereby perceive the action of the heart in a manner much more clear and distinct than I had ever been able to do by the immediate application of my ear.”

Laennec developed his prototype using wood and attaching a microphone to one end and an ear piece to the other.

The term ‘stethoscope’ is derived from the Greek words ‘stethos’ for chest, and ‘scopos’ for examination.

Laennec died of tuberculosis in 1826 at the age of 45.

Source :

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *