A stethoscope is a medical tool usually utilized by a health professional for auscultation, which is a term for listening to the internal sounds of the patient’s body. This is carried through as part of the examination of the patient’s circulatory system (by focusing on heart sounds), their respiratory system (by paying attention to sounds produced by breath) and their gastrointestinal system (bowel sounds).
An effective auscultation assists considerably to a precise diagnose of the patient’s illness, and contributes to the appropriate medical care. In addition to the doctor’s proficiency and clinical experience, the precision of the stethoscope in use and its ability to properly convey the patient’s body internal sounds is very important, and this is why the majority of doctors and nurses rely on the finest stethoscope available - the Littman stethoscope.
Named after Professor David Littmann, a well-known cardiologist from Harvard Medical School, that created his stethoscope in 1963, this medical instrument is praised for its precision, quality and accuracy. In 1967 3M purchased Dr. Littmann's firm, Cardiosonics Inc., and kept improving and developing these stethoscopes while still carrying the Littman brand, with such enhancements as the ground-breaking Ambient Noise Reducing mechanism that diminishes distracting room and other sounds on average by 75 per cents (-twelve db) from the diaphragm operating range as well as from the bell. Apart from that, Littman stethoscopes are quite versatile: their tunable diaphragm mechanism allows you to switch from bell mode to diaphragm mode and vice-versa by changing the pressure on the chest-piece.
The Littman stethoscope has developed to a range of different models and types, according to the particular function required by different health professionals, such as cardiologists, nurses, family physicians, pediatrics, etc. Now let us look into the different types of the Littman stethoscopes currently on the market:
This model is the most widespread, and it features the 3M's unique tunable diaphragm for greater low-frequency response, while being able to detect both low and high frequencies without the need to turn over the chest-piece.
This scope is perfect for listening to the lungs, or for measuring the apical pulse. It is also used by pediatricians, thanks to its pediatric-sized diaphragm. This stethoscope misses a bell, but by pressing on either side of the chest piece, one gets an identical bell effect. Its all-around quality makes it a preferred choice of med school students.
This is an all-purpose diagnosis stethoscope featuring single-sided tunable chest-piece design. This scope performs well in both high-frequency and low-frequency ranges, and can be imprinted with your own monogram of 3 initials.
More Littman stethoscope types are available on the market, such as Pediatric, Electronic, Teaching and Veterinary. Examining the body sounds and unveiling their signals is a true art mastered by the trained doctor.
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