With a variety of stethoscope available in the market, it’s quite difficult to establish the best stethoscope that meets your needs. A lot of us are acquainted with the basics which involves putting the hearing part in your ear with the other on the sick person to listen. Aside from that, the stethoscope works in quite a unique way. First of all, the diaphragm has got a sealed membrane which vibrates just like our own ear drum. Once it moves the column pushes the air inside tube enabling the air to move up and down on your ear canal.
What you can do with it:
There is much more to a stethoscope than checking out the heartbeat. Some of the features that are unique in stethoscope include;
Assessing lung sounds.
A good stethoscope allows you to identify the rhythm; rate and quality of breathing this also include the obstruction of airways or inflammation of pleura. It’s also important to begin right from the clavicle since the lung tissues extend that high. If you ought to listen to the back, then patients have to lean forward to expose the triangle of auscultation. You can start by moving from the right to the left- which gives you a better way to make comparison.
Assessing heart sounds
A stethoscope does more than just listen to the heart beat but it’s able to get any other sound which might be there (adventitious sounds). These sounds include murmurs, gallops or clicks. The sounds might seem the same at first but after you listen to many heart sounds you will be able to make the distinction. We listen to the heart beat in four main areas which the left and right of sternum at the level of the second rib.
Bruits are the abdominal whooshing sounds of the blood through an artery that indicates the artery has been narrowed which can be the cause of arteriosclerosis. Bruit can easily be detected in the neck, kidney and umbilicus.
Measuring the span of liver.
The stethoscope can plays a vital role in determining the span of liver which is done by tapping the belly. It is also advisable to place the stethoscope just below the right nipple then gently scratch the skin up above the chest. When the stethoscope is placed right above there will be a dull sound produced. If you mark the location where the dullness begins to where it ends then you get the size of the liver in that location.
It shouldn’t cost you more than £120 if you are looking to buy stethoscope in UK. You might find cheaper ones that work fine although they aren’t durable and might have weaker sound profiles. Always exercise caution when buying any stethoscope, if you must buy one then check whether they are accepted by the 3M Littman Cardiology III standards. It’s not worth spending cash on any device if you are not certain it will work in cardiology. Finally, it’s important for stethoscopes to be cleaned regularly especially the chest piece. Studies have shown that stethoscope is a contributing factor for patient-to-patient diseases.