Important Event of February – 17


Important Event of February – 17

Birth Anniversary of Rene Laennec

  • René-Théophile-Hyacinthe Laennec  was born in Quimper (Brittany) on 17 February 1781.
  • He was a French physician.
  • He invented the stethoscope in 1816, while working at the Hôpital Necker, and pioneered its use in diagnosing various chest conditions.

Early life and personality

  • Laennec studied medicine at the University of Paris under several famous physicians, including Dupuytren and Jean-Nicolas Corvisart-Desmarets.
  • He became a lecturer at the Collège de France in 1822 and professor of medicine in 1823.
  • His final appointments were that of head of the medical clinic at the Hôpital de la Charité and professor at the Collège de France.

Invention of the stethoscope

  • The stethoscope was invented in France.
  • It consisted of a wooden tube and was monaural.
  • Laennec invented the stethoscope because he was uncomfortable placing his ear on women’s chests to hear heart sounds.

Other medical contributions

  • He developed the understanding of peritonitis and cirrhosis.
  • In 1804, while still a medical student, he was the first person to lecture on melanoma. This lecture was subsequently published in 1805.
  • He also studied tuberculosis.
  • Laennec wrote A Treatise on the Disease of the Chest, in which he focused on diseases of the chest such as Phthisis pulmonalis and diagnostics such as Pectoriloquy. 

  •  He died of tuberculosis on August 1826 at the age of 45.

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