Stethoscopes are an absolutely essential part of a doctor’s arsenal. In fact, it is difficult to imagine a doctor without his quintessential stethoscope. A stethoscope is not just visually appealing; it serves a very important function that anybody who has had the privilege of meeting a doctor knows.
Stethoscopes are of various types. Since its inception in 1816, the stethoscope has undergone a lot of changes but the basic purpose and idea behind it has remained the same. As we are all aware, the stethoscope is used for auscultation. The early stethoscope was pretty much a trumpet but served the same function as the modern stethoscope, although it lacked sophistication and wasn’t very sensitive.
The most commonly used stethoscope is the acoustic stethoscope. This stethoscope has two earpieces (one for either ear) and one chest piece. The chest piece has two sides, the diaphragm, and the bell; both serve the same purpose in a different way. When the bell is placed on the patient, the vibrations of the skin produce acoustic waves which then travel to the earpieces. When the diaphragm is placed on the patient, the body sounds vibrate the diaphragm which then creates acoustic waves which travel to the listener’s ears through the earpieces.
The other kinds of stethoscopes include electronic ones which amplify sounds electronically and can also be connected to an outside device to record the generated sounds. A fetal stethoscope is used to listen to heart sounds of a fetus in a pregnant woman and is shaped like a trumpet.
The 3M Littman Lightweight II is a masterpiece produced by 3M is a great example of a modern stethoscope. With technology patented by Dr. David Littmann, the stethoscope has greatly amplified acoustics which makes them much more convenient to use. The Littmann brand is well respected in the international medical community and the stethoscopes manufactured by them are considered to be the best in the industry.
3M manufactures different kinds of stethoscopes under its Littman brand name. One of the most popular Littman stethoscopes is the 3M Littmann Lightweight II S.E. Stethoscope. This ultra-modern stethoscope is very lightweight, as the name suggests, weighing only 118 grams. The lightweight is a boon to the professionals who are supposed to wear the contraption around their necks all day.
The chest piece on this stethoscope is a dual-sided one which helps a medical professional save precious time. The chest piece acts as the diaphragm and the bell at the same time. The operator can hear different frequency sounds just by altering the pressure on the chest piece. Unlike conventional, the chest piece and the rim are not ice cold and thus cause no inconvenience to the patient.
The tubing provided on this stethoscope is quite resilient and will return to its original shape even after being folded in a compact space. The earpieces can also be adjusted for individual comfort. The ear tubes can be pulled or squeezed together for different people and the soft yet tight ear tips perfectly fit the ear holes and seal them perfectly.
This product is an entry-level and is priced similarly. However, it offers a lot despite being priced at a low to mid range. The tunable diaphragm to the soft sealing tips in an entry-level stethoscope is a great bargain for anyone.
Most reviews of the product have been positive. However, there are certain people who found that it is not good for Intensive Care Unit patients or emergency patients. In the product’s defence, it is clearly stated that the stethoscope should be used for taking blood pressure readings and limited patient assessments. The keyword being, “limited”.
Like any other machine, this product also has his pros and cons. In this case, the pros definitely outweigh the cons. The lightweight makes it very easy to carry around, something you might appreciate after wearing a metal contraption around your neck for 12 hours.
The adjustable diaphragm and earpieces also enhance the appeal of the product. Overall, if you are a medical professional who works with a stethoscope on a daily basis, this is a steal. It is especially good for students and trainees since it offers many features and after all, it is a Littmann.