If You Had a Hammer . . . You Could Improve Chest Percussion

May 1, 2007

o avoid the trauma to the fingers that can occur when you percuss a patient's chest or abdomen, use a reflex hammer to percuss the finger that is flush with the chest.

 

To avoid the trauma to the fingers that can occur when you percuss a patient's chest or abdomen, use a reflex hammer to percuss the finger that is flush with the chest. This technique may be particularly helpful to practitioners with long fingernails. It may also improve the acoustics of percussion, especially in morbidly obese patients.
-Dmitry Shtrambrand, MD
   Passaic, NJ

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Reader Feedback

I don't always have a reflex hammer with me, so I will use the side of my stethoscope instead.
-Sylvie Rosenbloom, MSN, BC-FNP
    Scarsdale, NY