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Term: auscultation
References: The Surgeon's Mate, pages 125, 150
The Yellow Admiral, page 196
The Hundred Days, page 152
Meaning: A diagnostic procedure in which the physician listens to sounds of the chest or abdomen, to determine state of the heart or lungs. It was originally performed, before the invention of the stethoscope, by placing the ear directly on the chest. Auscultation was often used with percussion, the art of striking a surface part of the body with short, sharp taps to diagnose the condition of the parts beneath the sound, which was discovered by Leopold Auenbrugger (1722-1809) of Vienna.

Additional information

Maturin's Medicine — This article is based on information from Maturin's Medicine, compiled and edited by Kerry Webb, with the help of a number of contributors.

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