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Auscultation

Definition

Auscultation is the method of listening to the sounds of the body during a physical examination .

Information

Auscultation is usually done using a tool called a stethoscope. Health care providers routinely listen to a patient's lungs, heart, and intestines to evaluate the frequency, intensity, duration, number, and quality of sounds.

Health care providers also use auscultation to listen to the heart sounds of unborn infants. This can be performed with a stethoscope or with sound waves (called Doppler ultrasound). It can also be used to hear pulses in the hands and feet.

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Encyclopedia content is provided as information only and not intended to replace the advice and instruction from your personal physician.