Most careers require people to make use of a certain set of tools. Doctors are no different in this case as they make use of many tools throughout their daily job functions. One of the most common tools doctors use are stethoscopes to listen to people’s lungs and heart. Other medical professionals make use of stethoscopes as well, so they are used by more people than what someone might initially realize. There are many qualities to look for in a stethoscope, and here is a review of various types of stethoscopes for consideration.
Tips for Choosing a Stethoscope
Finding the right stethoscope can be a trying task. However, finding the right one means being able to provide better patient care. Some tools are more acutely tuned to providing a better listening experience. A poorly designed or shoddily created stethoscope can mean having to make replacements larger on down the road, and it can also lead to giving inaccurate information to patients. There are some things to look for in the right stethoscope, and here they are for consideration.
All reputable stethoscopes should have been completely constructed from high-density materials. Stainless steel and titanium are common choices for their durability and performance. There should also be a hand polishing applied to the outside of the chest piece, but it can also be applied to the inside of the piece, too. Chest pieces that have been hand polished until they are smooth provide the most clear and crisp of sounds.
The headset should also be made of the same material as the chest piece
A high-density metal like stainless steel or titanium. The most common angle for a headset is 15 degrees. The same materials that are used for transmitting sound in the chest piece should also be used in the headset for the best acoustic situation. It should also be said that the materials listed in the stethoscope’s description might only cover the materials of the chest piece and not the headset, so doing a little research about what materials are used on both pieces is essential to finding the right acoustic arrangement for a stethoscope.
The same statement about quality materials can be made in regards to the diaphragm as well. This part connects the two metal parts of the instrument, so it would be a great idea to purchase a second diaphragm at the time the stethoscope is purchased. This second purchase will be great to have handy incase the diaphragm on the originally purchased stethoscope becomes inoperable. This mishap can occur because of a number of things, but punctures into the material are the most common way it can be damaged.
The tubing can also be replaced if it is damaged, too. This part is meant to help isolate acoustics and limit external noise. Thin tubes are the ones that will most likely break, which can lead to a total loss of sound in the stethoscope.
Another thing that should be considered is the ear tips.
These items might seem like an afterthought for some people, but they are quite essential in giving an accurate reading based on acoustics in the stethoscope. They should fit inside of the ear comfortable and securely. For this reason, people are usually able to purchase ear tips in various sizes. The ear tips should also form a seal inside of the ears to act as a buffer for external sound in order to stop it from seeping into the reading.
Our List of The Top Ten Best Stethoscopes To Buy in 2018
There are many styles and brands of stethoscopes out there, and different brands are better than others because of the acoustic quality they provide. Here are ten of the top stethoscopes to consider for purchase for anyone in a medical profession.
MDF is one of the most trusted brand names in stethoscopes. It has made handcrafted tools since 1971, and they provide free parts for the life of the piece. This lifetime warranty also comes with latex fee features since so many doctors work with patients who have an allergy to latex. The Acoustica Deluxe Lightweight Dual Head Stethoscope by MDF is one of the most durable and convenient models made by the brand. At the same time, this model is known for producing a high-quality sound performance, which makes them perfect to use in the noisiest offices or hospitals.
This model comes with three pairs of tear tips: small, regular, and large. These ear tips are included in the replacement parts for life program MDF offers. This model is made with an aluminum chest piece that has been hand polished. The Acoustica Deluxe is also known for having technology that prevents ear tips from breaking and leading to ear punctures.
Another series of stethoscopes by MDF is the MD One Stainless Steel Premium Dual Head Stethoscope. This model contains parts that are made from 100 percent stainless steel construction, which allows for the best acoustics that are far superior to those acoustics found in other instruments. This model also comes with the three different sizes of ear tips, and it also participates in the free for life parts replacement program that MDF offers. At the same time, this model uses a dual-leaf spring construction that is secured twice for durability. The MD One ascultates with crisp clear readings of the heart, lungs, and bowls. It has an automatically angled headset with a diaphragm that is rather sensitive as well.
3 M Littmann is another familiar name in stethoscope brands. They have been around a long time, and they make reliable products. This model, the Classic III, has a two-sided chest piece that is attached to tunable diaphragms on both the adult and child sizes. The diaphragm is made of a single piece, which makes it easier to attach and clean because of the smooth service it presents. The child size converts into a traditional, open bell by replacing the diaphragm with a non-chill rim. The tubes on this model are made with next-generation materials for the purpose of giving the device a longer life. This situation makes the piece resistant to skin oils and alcohol, so it is not likely to pick up stains over time.
This model comes with two sizes of ear tips that are used to seal out extraneous noise while providing superior comfort. They make a great seal to the inner ear, but they are also rather comfortable. This model also has a rim that is easy to snap on, and the same thing can be said of the diaphragm. An extra diaphragm is also included with the package for this item. At the same time, this stethoscope is great for people who are hard of hearing because of the quality acoustics that it provides. It provides the same sound as other stethoscope models that are far more expensive at a fraction of the cost.
The Cardiology Stethoscope by Vorfreude is one of the industry’s strongest stethoscope pieces. It also comes with a full-replacement warranty for all parts for the lifetime of the product, which also includes replacement ear tips. This model also uses Press Frequency pinpoints that are able to pick up on any frequency within an audible range due to the fact that it has high acoustic sensitivity in the diaphragm’s pressure.
The Dual Head Lightweight Stethoscope by MDF also participates in the brand’s free parts for life program, and it is made of latex free materials. This model is part of their economy line, but it offers reliable functionality. It uses a dual head stethoscope to deliver clear, crisp sound. This model can also be fitted acutely to a person’s own specifications for the most comfortable use. The chest piece is made of aluminum, and it is precisely machined and hand polished for the best performance and for lasting durability. The ear tips are made of softer silicone, which means they are made for comfort and strength.
3 M Littmann also makes another model called the 6152 Cardiology IV Stethoscope. It provides outstanding acoustics with better audibility of sounds in higher frequencies. This model also has a tunable diaphragm that allows for hearing higher or lower frequency sounds by slight adjusting pressure on the chest piece proper. The tubing is made from dual-lumen, which allows sound paths to eliminating the rubbing noise of traditional tubing.
Another model that is part of MDF’s economy line is their Single Head Lightweight Stethoscope. It fits easily under cuffs for the purpose of taking blood pressure. It comes with the parts replacement program, and it is also latex free. This model adjusts fit to personal specifications.
One more model by MDF that is rather popular happens to be their Classic Cardiology Dual Head Stethoscope. This mode is made of stainless steel in construction, which makes it perfect for the best acoustic experience. It comes with duel lumen tubing, free replacement parts, multiple sizes of ear tips, and dual-leaf spring construction. This model is perfect for working with adults as it is rather large in size and easy to handle. It might be a little cumbersome when working with small children and babies.
The Sprague Rappaport Dual Head Stethoscope by MDF is one of the most durable models on the market. It has adult, infant, and pediatric attachments, which allows people to work with patients of all ages. It has three pairs of comfortable ear tips, which are part of the life time replacement parts program for the stethoscope. It has two sound channels, one for each ear, which is also backed with dual lumen tubing.
The right stethoscope is out there for the every medical professional. Finding the right one does not have to be a chore, though. The ten items in this review are the best in the market for a reason.