A stethoscope is a medical tool used by doctors and nurses to listen to the internal sounds of a patient's body, such as their heart and lungs, which is known as auscultation. A stethoscope consists of a small, disc-shaped membrane that is placed against the patient's body and connected to a tube that leads to earpieces. The doctor or nurse can then hear the sounds through the earolives.
A stethoscope can have a single-sided chestpiece or a double-sided chestpiece. A single-sided chestpiece is suitable for listening to the heart. A double-sided chestpiece often has a bell on the other side for listening to the lungs.
There are different types of stethoscopes.
A stethoscope with a single tube that splits at the neck towards the ears. The stethoscope can have a single-sided chestpiece or double-sided chestpiece and the colour of the tube is available in many variants. An example of a single-tube stethoscope is the Littmann Classic III
or the Hospitrix S204
A stethoscope with two tubes is known as a Sprague-Rappaport stethoscope. This stethoscope has two connections on the chestpiece for a tube so that each ear is uninterruptedly supplied with sound. A Hospitrix S201
stethoscope has two tubes.
An electronic stethoscope does not transmit sound directly to the ear but first processes it with a microphone and amplifies and enhances the sound before it is sent to the ear. This gives a clear auscultation. As the sound can be amplified, an electronic stethoscope is very suitable for the hard of hearing. The Littmann CORE
is a stethoscope with many advanced features.
A teaching stethoscope is a stethoscope with a chestpiece with two tubes connected to it. Each tube has its own earpiece. This allows a teacher and student to listen to a patient simultaneously. The Hospitrix model SB50
is a teaching stethoscope.