Auscultation and Percussion

Monday, October 24, 2011

Auscultation is listening for sounds in the body. It is performed either with a stethoscope or with the ear alone. Auscultation of the heart mainly gives information about valvular defects. In auscultation of the lungs we distinguish vesicular breathing, bronchial breathing, and various adventitous sounds, such as rattles, friction noises, crepitations, crackling and ringing sounds. Percussion is tapping of the body surface so that conclusion can be drawn about the condition of underlying body parts from variation in the sounds produced; percussion is usually carried out with one finger. The sound is judged by the force, pitch, duration, and tonal nature.