HISTORY OF LITTMANN STETHSCOPE
It is always quite bizarre to think how the stethoscope must have come into existence. It is rather surprising to know that it all started with a paper tube. Yes, you read it right. And the litmann stethoscope which we use today with all new technologies in it dates its existence from 200 years ago. As soon as science spread its wings, human body became a challenging and interesting part of study. With the discoveries and innovations at its peak, it was observed that apart from human brain, human heart has a big role to play. This eventually ended up in a conclusion that human heart plays a crucial role in the survival of humankind. And it has to look after with utmost care.
Stethoscope is a combination of two words that have their origin from two Greek words that is stethos which means chest and scopos which means examination. Ultimately that led to mean the examination of the chest. It was first invented by a French physician Rene Laennec in 1816. During an examination of a patient, as there was no discovery of any such tool or equipment he was afforded few diagnostic clues from application of a hand to the chest or the commonly used percussion method. He was quiet reluctant to perform immediate auscultation on the young female patient, so for that he used a rolled sheet of paper to create an aural tube and facilitate auscultation. He was excited to discover that the heart sounds were clearly audible with this small tool which he created, and this discovery later lead to the development of the first device which was named as stethoscope specifically for this purpose.
The stethoscope which was used initally consisted of a wooden tube and was monaural. It was treated as a hearing aid and was known as an ear trumpet. It allowed the physician to more comfortably perform auscultation. He used a long, rolled paper tube to funnel the sound from the patient's chest to his ear that was later named as a stethoscope. This tube in Laennec’s terminology had acoustic properties that helped to improve Laennec's ability to hear vital heart and lung sounds. Laennec coined the term “stethoscope”. The process of listening to chest and heart sounds, he termed as "auscultare" that means to listen. He got this word from "auscultation" which means the same. Not only in helped in listening to the heart and chest sounds rather it is also used to hear bowel sounds and blood flow noises in arteries and veins.
During the time when stethoscope was not invented, general physician would often perform physical examinations using techniques such as percussion and immediate auscultation. In this method, the physician used to place his/her ear directly on the patient’s chest to hear the sounds. The need to have more efficient equipment arose because this technique suffered from several drawbacks, the foremost being that it required physical contact between the physician and the patient and proper placement of the ear. In addition to this, the sounds observed by the physician were not amplified in any way, creating the possibility of missing key sounds that might indicate potential illness and sometimes the illness could not be cured in a proper way or might be the problem could not be detected properly. This led to the introduction of the stethoscope. And with the introduction of stethoscope, one could hear such sounds more clearly than ever. Twenty-five years after 1816, George P. Camman of New York, developed the first stethoscope with an earpiece for each ear. Thus now stethoscope was widely used and at that time no one could ever think that this would be used for 100 years after. The stethoscope which we now use is based upon this model only with some modifications.
Then a breakthrough was seen in this field when in 1960s a Harvard Medical School professor, distinguished cardiologist and recognized international authority on electrocardiography namely Dr. David Littmann, patented a revolutionary new stethoscope with vastly improved acoustical performance. Now a tool that was invented so that there can be an ease in dealing with the patients is now a powerful diagnostic tool. In the 20th century many minor improvements were made to this iconic device to reduce weight, improve acoustic quality, and filter out external noise to aid in the process of auscultation. Electronic versions of the stethoscope were introduced to further amplify sound. It continued to improve itself whether it is the design or the small functions of it. Now they are famous as Littmann stethoscopes and it has become a well known brand. Littmann- A name that you can trust upon and rely upon. It is used by millions of medical practitioners these days. You can easily avail your 3M Littmann stethoscope at surgicalshoppe.co.in. The Skytech Medical and Surgical Devices is the best place to buy Littmann stethoscope.
Still the stethoscopes are improvised and made with one basic aim to provide physicians with the means to perform auscultation and identify specific sounds within the body. Littmann stethoscopes are important tools that help the practitioners to make their first contact with the patients. It also let the practitioners to touch their patients without actually touching them. Littmann Stethoscopes are a mark of trust and helps to break the ice, ease apprehension, and establish connection and rapport. While examining a patient, using stethoscope as a first tool of the examination makes patients feel that they're being treated the right way.
COMPOSITION OF A LITTMANN STETHOSCOPE:
Littmann stethoscope is one of the crucial and basic tools of every clinic and hospital and it is surprising to note that it has also become one of the essential tools of every house. A stethoscope does not only help in building up a relationship between a patient and a doctor but it is also used to detect and study heart, lung, stomach, and other sounds whether in an adult human or human fetuses or even animals. With the help of a Littmann stethoscope one can hear normal and abnormal sounds that can be related to any organ such as respiratory, cardiac, pleural, arterial, venous, uterine, fetal, testinal, etc. Most of the stethoscopes are Y in shape. Have you ever thought that why are they Y in shape of what might be the significance of making them Y-shaped? Littmann stethoscope is in Y shape as it allows sounds to enter the device at one end, travel up the tubes and through to the ear pieces. Because of this specific design one can hear the internal sounds more precisely and accurately. Most of the stethoscopes have a two-sided sound-detecting device or head that eventually helps the listeners to reverse and the listener can adjust hear high or low frequencies that entirely depend upon them and their choice.
When the human body can have its own unique anatomy then why not a stethoscope? The simpler a stethoscope looks the complex it is. As a human body consists of many types of organs likewise there are various types of stethoscopes. There are ample of variations when one talks about a stethoscope and there are also various types of stethoscopes which includes binaural stethoscopes, that are specially designed for use with both the ears; single stethoscopes, that are designed for use with one ear only; differential stethoscopes, that are designed to allow listeners to compare sounds at two different body sites; and electronic stethoscopes, which helps in electronically amplify the tones. Some stethoscopes are designed specifically for hearing the sounds in specific organs only such as in the esophagus or to hear the fetal heartbeats. A Littmann stethoscope consists of so many minute details. These details are being discussed in the following paragraphs to come. The components of a Littmann stethoscope are as follows:
- Ear tips: Stethoscopes are all about hearing the sounds properly. And not only the system plays a good role but the ear tips are well. They are important as all the Littmann stethoscopes come with the good quality ear tips as they fit into the ears perfectly. The Littmann eartips come with durablility; and are soft-sealing that help in providing an excellent acoustic seal and comfortable fit. The ear tips are generally available in small and large sizes with grey and black version usually. Better the ear tips better will be the quality.
- Tubing: Many stethoscopes tubes are generally made up of PVC. One basic function of tubing is it is used to transmit the sounds from the chest piece to the bi - aural (ear tube) assembly. With their improvised and next – generation tubing, Littmann stethoscopes provide improved resistance to skin oils and alcohol thus giving longer life to the tube. Apart from the finest composition, in Littmann stethoscopes natural rubber latex or phthalate plasticizers are not used in the tubing or any other component. Such coverings help to protect human health and the environment. All Littmann Cardiology stethoscopes are designed with double lumen tubing: two sound paths inside one and the outer tube which helps to eliminate the rubbing noise generated by traditional twin-tubed stethoscopes.
- Chestpiece: With tunable diaphragm, Littmann stethoscope offers one-sided chest pieces. Not only this, Littmann also offers two-sided chest piece with a diaphragm on one side and a bell on the other. In most of the cases bells are generally always open, while in others, it is closed with a tunable diaphragm. The opening or the closing of the bell depends upon the model.
- There are two types of diaphragm one is the larger diaphragm and the other is the smaller diaphragm which are provided in the Littmann stethoscope depending upon the model and use. The larger diaphragm side is used for adult patients. The smaller-diameter bell is best for pediatric or thin patients that are used for maneuvering around bandages, and even for carotid assessment. In some of the Littmann stethoscope, the closed bells on can be even converted to traditional open bells by replacing the diaphragm with a nonchill bell sleeve or a rim. The stethoscope also contains the stem that connects the stethoscope tubing to the chest piece. Littmann stethoscopes with two-sided chest pieces have only one acoustic path from the diaphragm to the ear tips. When rotating the two-sided chest piece on the stem selects or “indexes” lets the diaphragm to get open to the acoustic path.
- Ear tubes and Headset: The headset is made up of two ear tubes one is the tension springs and the other is the ear tips. If we talk about the ear tubes then the ear tubes are positioned at an anatomically correct angle, so that they can properly fit into your ear canals, thus enhancing your hearing capacity. For safety purpose, the ribbed ends of the ear tubes are snapped at the ear tips tightly. In Littmann stethoscope, ear tubes are made of an aerospace aluminum alloy that provides the stethoscope both crucial things that is strength and makes it lighter in weight. The Littmann stethoscopes are also provided with headset tension which is designed for individual fit and comfort that works by pulling the ear tubes apart to reduce the tension, or by squeezing them together (crossing them over) to increase tension.
- Tunable Diaphragm: The 3M Littmann stethoscopes are well equipped with tunable diaphragm. Because of this one can easily hear different sounds simply by adjusting the pressure on the chest piece thus making the auscultation for a patient easier.
- Valve stem : The dual headed Littmann stethoscopes also have a rotating valve that allows for selection of one side of the chest piece or the other.
Littmann stethoscopes are a crucial tool whether it is your home or your clinic. Even it is sometimes recommended as a first aid tool. It allows the listener to listen to and the sounds can be transferred from the internal sounds of a patient’s body to the medical professional’s ears so that he/she can be diagnosed rightly and timely and the treatment of the patient would take place as soon as possible.
If one has to sum the working of a stethoscope in a nutshell then the first thing is the sounds are created from the patient’s body that are eventually picked up through the diaphragm or bell end of the stethoscope, which is again pressed against the patient’s chest, back or stomach.
Now from the chest-piece, which houses the diaphragm or bell sound and then travels through the tubing and finally enters into the ear tubes before being passed to the users or listeners ears where they can hear the patients heartbeat, lungs, and various other internal sounds depending upon the type of stethoscope.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT LITTMANN STETHOSCOPE:
It is very important to choose your stethoscope rightly. But you never have given thought that are you using the right stethoscope or you could not even research before buying it. If you are a medical practitioner, then also it does matter that are you using the right stethoscope. It just not only completes your uniform but it a vital tool. There are a few important points before buying your stethoscope apart from deciding your budget and purpose. These steps are:
- Before investing your money hear it rightly: Yes, you read it right. Before buying any kind or type of stethoscope, take a hearing test. Take a Littmann stethoscope whatever you are planning to buy and slip on a Littmann stethoscope. Besides that, ensure that the ear tips point toward your nose. Now put the tunable diaphragm on your chest using light pressure. Are you able to hear your own heartbeat? If yes then just try to focus on how loud the sound is.
- Focus on the loudness of the sound coming from the stethoscope: The best thing about the Littmann stethoscope is that the sound you hear is four times louder than any other stethoscope. This fact was being proved by a recent study that proved that the sounds heard on an adult diaphragm were louder than the sounds heard on any common stethoscope. This is another way to identify your right stethoscope.
- Scratch online resources: Once you have done the two above mentioned things, surf online for the reviews and places to buy from. As you can surf a variety with amazing discounts at surgicalshoppe.co.in. The one and only one best platform to buy Littmann stethoscope in India is at Skytech Medical and Surgical Devices. Read the reviews before ending up buying anything.
- Make out the difference: Try to hold any stethoscope by its headset. Now let it hang vertically. You will definitely notice distinct kinks or bends which can make the usual stethoscope hard to use. This signifies that stiff tubing has been used on the ordinary stethoscope which can pull on ear tips. On the contrary, the Littmann stethoscope tubing hangs straight as it is quite flexible and helps you to examine your patient easily. This difference is easy to make out because this makes Littmann stethoscope unique in nature.
- Symmetrical ear tubes: Littmann stethoscopes are specially designed with symmetrical ear tubes that enhance the quality and comfort and give a grip to the ear tubes. You can browse a whole range of 3M Littmann stethoscopes at the best place to buy Littmann stethoscope that is nowhere but only at Skytech Medical and Surgical devices.
- Adjustable headset: In the ranges of Littmann stethoscope, we offer you it with adjustable headset. The adjustability of the headset is basically provided for individual fit and comfort. In all the Littmann stethoscopes, the headset tension is easily adjusted by gently squeezing the ear tubes together that leads in increasing the tension, or pulling them apart that helps them to decrease tension.
- Check out the right Littmann stethoscope just by touching it: Even our fingertips can feel and can make out the difference while separating a Littmann stethoscope from an ordinary one. Try to make your fingers run on the ear tips. And now try to pull off the ear tube. You will find that the ear tips really do snap tight. They snap tight for maximum acoustic performance and safety. You will also feel that the ear tips are smooth to seal comfortably inside your ears without causing any irritation.
- In the last step try to feel out the weight: Finally, in the last step to identify the best Littmann stethoscopes try to feel out the weight. Littmann stethoscopes are designed keeping several things in mind. The one first agenda is to provide comfort and proper hygiene. One will also feel light and comfortable when he / she drape the Littmann stethoscope around your neck or even he / she carries in the pocket.
- It gives a classy and trendy look: Littmann stethoscope gives a classy and trendy look with their wide ranging colours. It is not only comfortable to carry or helps you give a complete look but it also looks classy because of its special design.
So if you really know about Littmann stethoscope or you want to browse more then you can simply log onto surgicalshoppe.co.in. Buying a stethoscope is a one time investment, so whether you’re a medical student or a nurse, or even a physician, you need a high-performance dependable stethoscope and that can only be bought at the best place that is Skytech Medical and Surgical Devices.