What is it? Where it is used? Why it is used?
A stethoscope is a clinical tool or rather instrument that is used for auscultation or rather listening to sounds that are produced by some body organs, mostly the heart, the lungs together with the intestinal tract. In addition to these three organs, it can also be used for listening to the flow of blood in peripheral vessels together with the heartbeats of a developing fetus within the pregnant women. In general, stethoscopes are used in the detection and ultimate study of the stomach, lungs and heart as well as other sounds within human beings, developing human fetuses as well as in animals. Through the use of a stethoscope, the one listening may end up hearing abnormal and normal cardiac, respiratory, arterial, pleural, uterine, intestinal and fetal sounds.
All the health care professionals in addition to the medical students must learn how a stethoscope is used. There is a wide variance of stethoscopes especially when it comes to the material used and the design of the models. Most of the models are designed and manufactured from the “Y-Shaped” rubber tubing. The shape allows the sounds to get into the device via one end then travel all through the tube to the two earpieces.
- Types of Stethoscopes
- Qualities and TECHNICALITIES of a stethoscope
- Short reviews of best sellers
- 1. 3M Littmann Lightweight II S.E. Stethoscope
- 2. 3M Littmann Classic II S.E. Stethoscope
- 3. 3M Littmann Classic II Pediatric Stethoscope
- 4. 3M Littmann Master Classic II Stethoscope
- 5. 3M Littmann Cardiology III Stethoscope
- 6. 3M Littmann Master Cardiology Stethoscope
- 9. Bock Cardiology-R.A. Dual-Head Stethoscope
- 10. Welch Allyn Tycos Professional Double-head Stethoscope
- What to keep mind while procuring a stethoscope
Types of Stethoscopes
- It is a versatile and general-purpose tool.
- Diaphragm mode designed for heart sounds of high frequency
- Bell mode design for lung sounds of lower frequency.
- Chest piece of these models can always be rotated.
- Dual Head is the most popular among the stethoscopes.
- Preferred by Cardiologists because they are efficient for the monitoring of heart sounds
- Has a wide range of frequency capture capability
- Internal dual tube-lumen design is employed to deliver clear clean sound
- Each earpiece connects independently to the chest piece hence having two tubes that are together held by use of metallic clips.
- The two external tubes can at times rub together hence creation of noise interference.
- The stethoscope looks quite dramatic but it is getting more unpopular,
- They are Acoustic stethoscope having very poor amplitude as well as horrible fidelity.
- Most of them are essentially cheap amplifiers having a headphone.
- They are expensive but the high price can’t be justified because materials and design costs seem low
- When using them, a space age scope having digital signal processing and pressure sensors is required.
Tunable/corrugated diaphragms Stethoscopes
- The user of these scopes applies some little pressure to capture low sounds but presses more firmly to capture high frequency sounds.
- In reality, they are quite hard to use and risk losing their effectiveness after some time
- These may fall in any of the above categories but are smaller in size for use in diagnosis and monitoring of pediatric patients.
Fetal stethoscope (pinard)
- It’s a stethoscope that comes in a trumpet shape for use in listening to fetuses in women’s abdomen
Qualities and TECHNICALITIES of a stethoscope
A stethoscope must always have quality:
- Diaphragm: the accessory used for chest and abdominal examination as well as blood pressure measurement
- Chest piece: used to hold the diaphragm in the right place
- Bell: a cup shaped section, opposite to the diaphragm and is more effective when it comes to transmission of low frequency sounds
- Binaurals & ear tubes: these need to be designed in such a way that they reduce head tension and assures you of maximum comfort to the ears
- Tubes: made with PVC and can be either bi-lumen or single-lumen. The former is important in elimination of external noise interference
- The tube length should be neither too long nor too short. Longer tubes are easy to carry around the neck while shorter ones bring you closer to the patient hence the need to strike a balance.
Short reviews of best sellers
1. 3M Littmann Lightweight II S.E. Stethoscope
The model is very ideal for those who are just entering in to the medical industry as well as those who have been there for some time. It is essential for both the learners as well as the learned. Its design that is characterized with a dual sided chest piece, a tunable diaphragm together with reliable acoustics makes it to be a leading player in the industry. The teardrop shape design makes it easy for use in getting acoustic responses around the blood pressure cuffs. This makes it possible for the physician to make minimal physical assessment on the adults. With its weight of just 118g, it scores as the lightest Littmann stethoscope for adults hence the best solution for those professionals who wear these devices on their necks all day long.
- The diaphragm together with the non-chill rim welcomes more patients back to your health facility
- The headset has been anatomically designed to meet the ear canal path
- Designed with a teardrop shape that allows for easy fitting of the under blood pressure cuffs.
- It is a reliable, clear and lightweight stethoscope that enhances dependable acoustic responses hence making it an ideal entry level model
- The diaphragm is tunable with just some simple change in pressure thereby enhancing the capture of different frequencies.
2. 3M Littmann Classic II S.E. Stethoscope
This is hardworking and dependable clinical equipment for reliable use in physical assessment together with monitoring of patients. All the care providers that are dedicated to achieve the best outcomes use this model as their main choice. A real workhorse provides high efficient acoustic sensitivity via the stainless steel dual sided chest piece together with its tunable diaphragm, which is on one side and the traditional bell being positioned on the other side. Both the medical professionals as well as the students use this model to listen to, to identify and to study the lung, the heart among other body sounds. Ultimately, proper physical assessment as well as diagnosis is achieved.
- It has been designed with a diaphragm together with a non-chill rim that improves the patient comfort
- It has been designed and manufactured using latex free materials making it a good tool for allergy sensitive professionals and patients
- Its headset has anatomically been designed to meet the ear canal path hence providing optimal listening.
- With just some simple adjustment of pressure, the tunable diaphragm will be able to capture both the low as well as the high frequencies without having to turn the chest piece
- The dual sided chest piece is designed to enhance durability and high acoustic sensitivity. In addition to its compact design, the 3M Littman Classic delivers rugged dependability together with versatile auscultation.
3. 3M Littmann Classic II Pediatric Stethoscope
The Littmann pediatric classic is a proven Littmann stethoscope designed with hardworking, dependability as well as efficiency in mind. It is a reliable tool when it comes to physical monitoring as well as diagnosis of young or rather smaller patients. Through the modern designed dual sided chest piece, the model delivers very high acoustic sensitivity for a wide range of frequency sounds. Both the students as well as the well established medical professionals use the model for diagnostic and monitoring of the major body organs, more specifically the lungs and the heart.
- The headset has been designed to be easily adjustable for maximum fit and comfort. The ear tubes have also been angled in such a way that they align with the ear canals.
- It is designed with some smaller 3.3 centimeter diaphragm and a dual sided chest piece making it ideal for the pediatrics
- Has a diaphragm designed with non-chill rim for enhanced patient comfort
- It also has some soft sealing Littmann ear tips that provide a comfortable fit as well as an excellent acoustic seal.
- The chest piece has been designed with versatility in mind hence enabling it to provide high acoustic sensitivity as it has both an open bell and a floating diaphragm.
4. 3M Littmann Master Classic II Stethoscope
This is a master classic model produced by Littmann to cater for the needs of both the medical professionals as well as the medical students. This is a unique model with features that have not been common in the market ever since. It has a single sided patented tunable diaphragm, which makes it possible for the physician to monitor both the low as well as the high frequency sounds without the need of turning the chest piece over. It also has the single- lumen tube design, a non-chill rim together with soft sealing Littmann patented ear tips.
- It is accompanied with a two year manufacturer warranty
- It has been designed with latex free materials thereby making it to be a suitable model for allergy sensitive persons
- It has a non-chill rim together with a comfortable diaphragm hence welcoming the patients back.
- Its headset has anatomically been designed with an angle that meets the ear canal’s path
- Its tunable diaphragm is responsive to just some simple change in pressure for capturing both the low as well as the high frequency sounds.
- The models ergonomic design made it to be an award-winning model with comfort, reliability and wonderful acoustic sensitivity scoring high.
5. 3M Littmann Cardiology III Stethoscope
If you are a medical professional who requires exceptional versatility in combination with excellent acoustic performance, then the Littman Cardiology Stethoscope is the model to look for. This is among the most recognized stethoscopes for students and professionals alike. It comes with diagnostic versatility, high acoustic performance together with convenience when it comes to treatment of both the adults as well as the pediatrics. With a non-chill bell sleeve, it ensures that the pediatric patients comfort is not compromised.
- The headset has anatomically been designed to meet the ear canal’s path hence improved comfort
- The manufacturers have employed the dual lumen (2 – in – 1) design, which is essential for elimination of noise interference as two external tubing do rub together hence noise interference.
- It has 2 tunable diaphragms that responds with simple change in pressure to capture a range of sound frequencies
- It is characterized with provision of versatile auscultation for the pediatrics and the adult patients alike.
- It has also been backed with a 5 year manufacturer warranty
6. 3M Littmann Master Cardiology Stethoscope
One of the most important features of this stethoscope is its characterization with best acoustic results or rather response. It has a very sensitive tunable diaphragm together with dual lumen tubing that is an added advantage to the ergonomically designed chest piece. The chest piece is made from stainless steel to boost its appearance, durability and easy in maintenance. Headset tension can be reduced considerably since the headset can easily be adjusted for enhanced comfort. The resilient tubing makes it possible for the product to retain its shape even after being tightly folded in a pocket.
- Comes with soft sealing Littmann ear tips
- It is accompanied with a seven year manufacturer warranty
- It is a high performance cardiology stethoscope
- Comes with an adapter for special procedures.
- It is 27” in length though there are some other sizes as well
- Comes in different colors to choose from
- It has also been designed with a tunable diaphragm that is responsible for collection of different frequency sounds.
- American Diagnostic Corporation Platinum Edition Adscope 615st
Adscope 615 Professional is just among the best multi frequency scopes in the market today. In its design is the combination of the modern diaphragm and the traditional bells to bring about a convenient single sided chest piece for effective acoustic response. Any professional within the medical industry will comfortably use this stethoscope. Buy it and enjoy efficiency for extended durations of time
- It is inspected in the United States of America
- The ear tips are ADsoft deluxe PVC form that comes in large or even small sizes to choose from according to ones interest. Also comes with a scope ID tag and an acoustic seal.
- A non chill diaphragm has been designed with a retaining rim hence enhanced patient comfort
- The new diaphragm design is credited for the ability to achieve a multi frequency response by just a simple pressure alteration
- It also comes with a double leaf internally fixed spring at an angle of 15 degrees hence guaranteeing more comfort.
- ADSCOPE Convertible ADC Cardiology Stethoscope
This convertible ADSCOPE cardiology stethoscope is credited for combining acoustic performance and versatility in its design. The two tubes in a single tube (Bi-Lumen) technology have been used in its design to improve the stereo separation. Maximum comfort is also guaranteed while using this model. This comfort is highly credited to the threaded ADSOFT ear tips. Having been designed and manufactured by the use of stainless steel, the stethoscope is durable enough to serve you for longer than you thought. The spare assortments and diaphragms prolong the use of this model even the most.
- Designed with ADSOFT customized ear tips for improved acoustic seal together with maximum wearing comfort
- The stethoscope can rapidly be converted from an adult bell to a pediatric diaphragm with credit being given to the threaded attachments
- The chest piece is a convertible cardiology styled
- Bi- lumen tubing has been factored in to enhance the improvement of the acoustic performance.
9. Bock Cardiology-R.A. Dual-Head Stethoscope
The Dual-head cardiology R.A stethoscope is one of the best models that any serious cardiology will look for in today’s market. The size, weight together with its looks is all within the desirable range that physicians do accept. The functionality of the unit is characterized with efficiency and easy operation. One good thing about this stethoscope is that with each production, there is always an improvement in the design. The most recent production comes with very soft silicone based ear tips. Unlike the previous productions that used to be screwed, the latest productions have their ear tips being pushed on the binaural. With just some simple change in pressure, both low as well as high frequency sounds are caught.
- It is a dual head stethoscope for cardiologists
- The chest piece is made of solid stainless steel material with a non-shill rim
- The binaural spring is double leaf, adjustable and has three soft sealing ear tips sets
- The side by side dual tubing within a single tube boosts superior sound.
- With just a simple change in pressure, the tunable diaphragm positively responds to capture both the low together with the high frequency.
- Comparatively less expensive yet it is an effective diagnostic model
10. Welch Allyn Tycos Professional Double-head Stethoscope
The minimal weight of this stethoscope in conjunction to its rotating binaural do allows one to have a customized design of the model. This is among the most versatile yet very comfortable stethoscope models being designed for the market today. Its acoustics are such that they enhance accuracy in the auscultation of the pulmonary, cardiac together with vascular sounds. In addition to this, the chest pieces in the pediatric and adult versions are such that they allow you to select a model that will best suit any given specific needs.
- it is latex free
- comes with a five year warranty
- has comfort sealing interchangeable ear tips
- its binaural are rotatable
- it is a stethoscope for general use
- it is a double headed stainless steel model (bell & flat diaphragm)
- has a non-chill chest piece rim
This is absolutely one stethoscope model that will well serve nurses, students, paramedics, doctors among other professionals in the medical field. Spending some few dollars on it is a real investment in deed.
What to keep mind while procuring a stethoscope
Are you a medical student who does not know yet how to find a good stethoscope? Are you new in the medical industry and not yet aware of those models that professional personnel do love and recommend to other for use? Or have you been in the field for long and has just realized that the stethoscope you have been using all along may not be the best model for modern use? Then you need to have a deeper understanding of how to get the best of these products.
All the medicine, paramedic, nursing and veterinary students find getting the right stethoscope to be a daunting process. This can be as a result of the claim by all the brands that their stethoscope is just the best in the market.
Qualities of the Best Stethoscope
- The stethoscope needs to be lightweight. Remember that you will be carrying this tool on your neck throughout the day or the night shift. If it is too heavy, you will wear out very fast and it may also have some long term side effects
- The tubing length also needs to be of good length. They need to be long enough so that patient examination can be proper and hassle free. It must however not be too long as well.
- The diaphragms of good stethoscopes are made using high quality PE films. They also have to be flexible enough. Its better you have a 45 mm diaphragm for cardiology, 25mm for pediatrics and 35mm for adults.
- The stethoscope must always have a non-chill rim, stainless steel binaural and comfortable ear tips and pieces. The tube wall also needs to be thick enough so as to reduce the outer sound interference.
- As its quality is maintained, it needs to be cost effective and one that will add much value to the money you spent in buying it.
When looking for the best stethoscope to buy, it is important you stick to the well-known companies or rather brands. Littmann is one such brand that has cut a niche for itself and you will probably not be disappointed with their products. Go for a unit that guarantees you with performance as well as comfort. It has to be lightweight and one that gives you value for the money spent. A good stethoscope must not be expensive. However, if you are not on a tight budget, going for the models in the higher price end will obviously have its own pros over the cheap ones.