No doctor would be caught dead without a stethoscope
. Stethoscopes, much like the sphygmomanometer, are very important gadgets that medical professionals need to be able to diagnose the diseases of their patients.
What is a stethoscope? It is a handy gadget that is used to listen to the various sounds that are being produced by the body. Examples of these sounds include the normal heart beat and abnormal cardiac sounds like arrhythmia and murmurs. You can also listen to the lungs and hear normal breath sounds, or the rales of pneumonia and the wheezes of asthma. If the patient has abdominal problems, you can also listen for the presence or absence of bowel sounds. You can also detect joint problems with the use of a stethoscope. They usually present with crepitus or crackling, popping sounds in the problematic joint.
The very first stethoscope was developed in France in 1816 by Rene Laennec, which consisted of a long wooden tube and a monaural. That primitive stethoscope did not look anything like the gadgets we have today, since it resembled a wood trumpet. As the centuries passed, many improvements have been made on the design of the gadget. During the 20th century, quality in stethoscopes has become synonymous with the brand 3M Littmann, which was named after the Harvard Medical School professor Dr. David Littmann who has made specific improvements on the gadget during the 1970s. Since the Seventies, the Littmann Stethoscope has become THE stethoscope to own among medical professionals.
When buying a stethoscope, there are certain characteristics that you need to look for. The best stethoscope is one that is convenient to carry around. It should also be very easy to put on and the ear tips should fit snugly in your ear, so that no outside noises could be heard. Most importantly, the stethoscope should be able to amplify the body sounds.
Recently, the 3M Littmann came out with its latest model - the Littmann Cardiology III Stethoscope, which has fulfilled the above mentioned characteristics. Unlike previous models, the Littmann Cardiology III is slightly heavier because of the many innovations made to improve the acoustics of the gadget. Among them, you have wider tubing on the chestpiece. The best innovations were made to the diaphragm. This new model has a tunable 'two-in-one' diaphragm. You can easily switch from a traditional diaphragm (for adult patients) to a bell (for children). Many doctors have tried out this stethoscope and compared it with other brands. Suffice to say, they are all in agreement that this is the best stethoscope in the market today.
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