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Crit Care Nurs Q. 2007 Apr-Jun;30(2):166-80.

Practical cardiac auscultation.

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Department of Medicine, UMDNJ Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901, USA.


This article focuses on the practical use of the stethoscope. The art of the cardiac physical examination includes skillful auscultation. The article provides the author's personal approach to the patient for the purpose of best hearing, recognizing, and interpreting heart sounds and murmurs. It should be used as a brief introduction to the art of auscultation. This article also attempts to illustrate heart sounds and murmurs by using words and letters to phonate the sounds, and by presenting practical clinical examples where auscultation clearly influences cardiac diagnosis and treatment. The clinical sections attempt to go beyond what is available in standard textbooks by providing information and stethoscope techniques that are valuable and useful at the bedside.

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