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Hearing is Believing

Posted on: August 30th, 2012 by LAMedicalBlogger

Fresh medical students, doctors, veterinarians and caregivers all have at least one thing in common: they all rely on stethoscopes more than any other piece of equipment. Stethoscopes allow medical professionals to listen to our hearts to make sure our valves are operating correctly, our lungs to be sure they are functioning as they should and other organs to make sure we are as healthy on the inside as we look on the outside.

But are there differences between various brands of stethoscopes, and what exactly should a new medical student or independent caregiver be looking for when they are buying a stethoscope? Here are a few key factors that should be considered in a stethoscope search.

Ability to hear. The point of a stethoscope is to be able to hear noises within the body that you can’t hear with the naked ear. Being able to differentiate between sounds can make a world of difference when trying to treat a patient, whether it’s at the scene of an accident or in the emergency room. This is the most important function of a stethoscope and should be the most important criterion.

Weight. A lightweight stethoscope is ideal for those working purely in hospital settings as it will be on your body in some way or another throughout the day. Anything too heavy will feel cumbersome. However, heavier stethoscopes work better for EMTs or other professions where there is a good chance the stethoscope could be dropped, stopped on, thrown, etc.

Ear seal. Not much to this. If you can hear more outside than you can what’s coming through the stethoscope you need to find a different stethoscope.

These are three basic criteria for finding the right stethoscope, but there are many forums of medical students and residents that can provide helpful insights. LA Medical carries a wide variety of stethoscopes, so check out online catalog and find one that works for you!

 

What’s the Sound on Stethoscopes?

Posted on: February 28th, 2012 by LAMedicalBlogger

What’s the sound on stethoscopes?  Stethoscopes have actually been helping medical professionals listen to the sounds in your body since 1816.  These amazing healthcare tools can amplify the sounds of your heart, lungs or even body functions of a developing fetus in a woman’s uterus.  There are three main designs in stethoscopes; the acoustic stethoscope, the electronic stethoscope and the fetal stethoscope.  We carry the first two as well as variations of the electronic and acoustic that are designed for specific healthcare fields or specific patient sizes such as pediatric or infant.

The acoustic stethoscope is the most widely recognized stethoscope.  Its traditional design includes a chest piece and tubes.  The chest piece is composed of a bell and a diaphragm.  Nursing students are taught using the acoustic stethoscope.  There are several design characteristics to look at when picking out an acoustic stethoscope.  You must choose the length of your tube, which affects how closely you must stand to the patient in order to use properly and can also affect how amplified your sound is.  We have a variety of acoustic stethoscopes including:

Electronic stethoscopes are a newer technology in healthcare with the ability to turn sound waves from the patient’s body into electronic signals in your stethoscope.  The electronic stethoscopes are able to control the volume of the body sounds, greatly improving the healthcare professional’s ability to hear the sounds of the body clearly.  We offer two electronic stethoscopes including:

Do you have a favorite stethoscope that you use?  Please share with us the differences you have found in stethoscopes.