oa Central African Journal of Medicine - Examination of the Chest - Some Thoughts on an Old Art

Volume 24, Issue 5
  • ISSN : 0008-9176



An examination of the clinical teaching on percussion and auscultation is made. The author argues that confusion exists both in textbooks on the subject and in students' and clinicians' minds. An argument is presented to view percussion more in terms of ""feel"" rather than ""sound"" and thus a classification of ""hard"" ""intermediate"" and ""soft"" dullness is introduced. This leads on �to a discussion on auscultation in which a plea is made to differentiate between obstructive and non-obstructive consolidation of lobes- a point recognised by some physicians but not enunciated with clarity in teaching. The difference between the clinical findings in obstructive consolidation of the upper and lower lobes is discussed. The importance of distinguishing between tracheal and bronchial breathing is made.

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