The tool of choice for pediatric, newborn, and neonatal patients is the pediatric stethoscope
. The stethoscope is an instant way to hear not only heart and lung sounds, but other internal sounds within the body, including blood flow within the arteries. There are many brands from which to choose from, as well as price ranges. One of the most important factor in selecting a stethoscope is that of the aural quality. Let's be honest, if you can't auscultate the different bodily sounds clearly a delay in diagnosis can result in dire consequences.
The most commonly used pediatric diaphragms are the acoustic, that is what we see nurses and doctors use most often. The stethoscopes utilized on children and adults all the same. Nevertheless, the bell size for pediatric and newborn patients is Smaller than those used for adult patients. Simply due to this size difference you can't get the best sound quality from an adult diaphragm on the child patient as you can from a model designed specifically for the smaller patient.
Great fitting ear pieces are critical in order to lock out extraneous sounds that could interfere with the correct diagnosis. Different manufacturers such as Littmann make their diaphragms with interchangeable ear pieces so you can get the correct fit.
The rest of the stethoscope consists of the diaphragm, bell and tubing. For children, the double tubing gives better audibility than the single tubes models. A better range of frequencies can be heard when you have a combo bell/diaphragm than just the common bell. These days the latex allergy has to be contemplated when choosing which stethoscope you will use. Most, if not all, stethoscope manufacturers make their equipment latex free.
Individuals know what a shock it can be when a cold stethoscope is pressed against our skin. While choosing your diaphragm, you might also want to consider purchasing a diaphragm sock, or animal shaped cover for your pediatric stethoscopes. Durability, and a high level of functionality is important. There is ample information, along with reviews by practitioners who have used different brands out there, which may help you in deciding on the best pediatric stethoscope.
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