Stethoscope examination. A doctor presses a stethoscope onto a woman's chest and listens for sounds made by her heart and lungs. The woman is lying in a hospital bed, propped up by pillows, and the doctor is leaning over her with the stethoscope in his ears. A stethoscope consists of earpieces connected by tubes to a small sound-detecting device. By pressing the de- tecting device onto the patient's skin, the doctor can listen to sounds made by the movement of gas or liquid inside the body. Stethoscopes are used routinely to study the heart and lungs, where diseases cause tell-tale changes in the pattern of sound that these organs make.
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