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Book and Media Reviews
February 8, 2012

Blaufuss Sound Builder (Teaching Cardiac Auscultation)

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville (richard.conti@medicine.ufl.edu).

JAMA. 2012;307(6):617. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.103

I have never been in favor of the approach to teaching cardiac auscultation in which the learner simply listens to recordings of heart sounds and murmurs without any correlation to physiologic events, such as the electrocardiogram or a display of the phonocardiogram. Without correlation this becomes a boring exercise, and the student rapidly loses interest

The Blaufuss Sound Builder application, which can be downloaded to an iPhone or iPad, provides an alternative approach. The uniqueness of this application is that there is correlation with the electrocardiogram and phonocardiogram and that different heart sounds and murmurs can be built around the first and second heart sound. For example, the user can add an ejection sound, a midsystolic click, third heart sound, fourth heart sound, or an opening snap. In addition, holosystolic, early systolic, midsystolic, and late systolic murmurs as well as early diastolic, mid-diastolic, and presystolic murmurs can also be added (built) onto the first and second sound. Thus, for example, mitral stenosis can be simulated by adding an opening snap, a mid-diastolic rumble, and presystolic murmur to the first and second heart sound. The quality of the sound when listening with earphones is excellent and simulates the real thing.