Without the sophisticated medical equipment in use today, patient care wouldn't be nearly as effective. Doctors and nurses depend on reliable medical machines to inform them on the status of their patients and to detect any abnormalities in their health before they become untreatable. While medical devices are constantly changing, there are medical machines like the defibrillator which have been in use for decades and continue to be among the most used devices in hospitals. Here are five such commonly used devices.

Ultrasound Machines
Ultrasound Machines emit sound waves that are too high in frequency for the human ear to hear. These waves penetrate human skin and bounce off internal organs, thus mapping out a picture of them on screen. The two most well-know researchers of ultrasound technology were Karl Dussik and Ian Donald. Dussik used ultra sound to examine the human brain in 1942 and Donald pioneered diagnostic ultrasound.

Patient Monitors
These are fairly large, multi-buttoned and often multi-screened machines seen next to many a hospital bed. Also known as vital sign monitors, patient monitors are an electrical amalgamation of programs that display and interpret the state of a patient, often allowing physicians to detect changes in the patient's state of health before physical symptoms of change are apparent.

X-ray Machine
In 1895, physicist Wilhelm Roentgen accidentally discovered x-rays while experimenting with electron beams in gas discharge tubes. The first x-ray machines were large and cumbersome things. After more than a century, x-ray machines today still function under the same basic principles as they did before. Today they are an essential part of every hospital and almost every medical clinic in the U.S. They detect fractures, cavities and foreign objects in the body.

EKG Machine
EKG stands for electrocardiogram. EKG machines record the electrical signals from the heart and enable physicians to detect abnormal heart activity. The first EKG machine was built in 1903 by Willem Einthoven, who assigned letters P, Q, R, S and T to the various kinds of cardiac electrical signals. Today's EKG machines are computerize, compact and more effective, but they still use Einthoven's letters and basic principles.

Still the most effective device when it comes to reviving patients from cardiac arrest, defibrillators are one of the most popular and used medical devices in hospitals everywhere. The first experiments in defibrillation were done on animals by Jean-Louis Prevost and Frederic Batellin in 1890. The first human defibrillation was done by Claude Beck in 1947 while he performed open heart surgery on a 14 year old.

The next time when looking to buy a patient monitor, think about what type of monitor would best fit your needs.