What is the name of that antique metal disc that doctors used to wear on their foreheads?
April 9, 2008 7:13 PM   Subscribe

What is the name of that antique metal disc that doctors used to wear on their foreheads? AnitanitaBoyfriend just shared that doctors used to use it to hear heartbeats by pressing the disc against the chest. But he doesn't know the name. My googlefu is not strong enough, so I turn to the collective wisdom of the group..... Thanks Guys!
posted by anitanita to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
It's a reflector. It was used to cast light upon the patient. They have been replaced by penlights. The thing pressed to the chest to hear heartbeats is the bell or diaphragm (depends on which side you are using) of an acoustic stethoscope, which isn't the same device as the reflector.
posted by jamaro at 7:20 PM on April 9, 2008


a stethoscope is the thing you use to listen to heartbeats.

the mirror thing is just called a Head Mirror, as far as I can tell.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 7:25 PM on April 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


This might be premature because I don't remember the name of the thing, but I think it's actually for peering into the eyes. The big shiny disc is a mirror that focused the light from a lamp mounted in front of it, and with that illumination you could actually see through the pupil of a patient's eye.

I think your boyfriend might be thinking of a stethoscope.
posted by d. z. wang at 7:33 PM on April 9, 2008


"Reflector?"

On preview, yeah. Reflector. Separate from a stethoscope, which is the same rough shape (a circle) but connected to tubes with a diaphragm in there somewhere and ear buds. It's just a metal "direct light right here" thing. And makes me think of Dr. Mario.
posted by disillusioned at 7:42 PM on April 9, 2008


A doctor's head mirror - most often worn in real life by an otolaryngologist - has a hole in the middle and is attached to the head strap by a segmented arm so that it can be swung down and the hole placed in front of one eye. Ambient or artificial light reflected by the mirror is then focused about 8" in front of that eye, allowing the doctor to illuminate and look into the recesses of the nose or ear without blocking the light with his head.
posted by nicwolff at 7:55 PM on April 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Used like so: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/18467/18467-h/images/advise169.png
posted by steef at 6:09 AM on April 10, 2008


I saw an ENT doctor last year who wore one during part of my exam. I was pretty excited, since I had assumed that only old-timey doctors wore them.
posted by vytae at 7:20 AM on April 10, 2008


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