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Tips for Choosing The Proper Stethoscope

Subject to the regulations set forth in the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), every medical device must have a “Uniform Diagnosis and Standard Treatment Schedules” (USDS). (b) Each medical device that has a mechanical component should have a series of labels or a label which displays the manufacturer’s name, trade name, model number, and sales number. These numbers are also referred to as “diagnosis codes” and are stored in the USDS.

To illustrate, if someone were to look at a stethoscope and compare it to the traditional acoustic medical device, they would find that the USDS indicated a different pressure reading, as shown in figure 1. For example, if one were to look at the stethoscope through the air, one could see that the pressure reading was much lower than with the traditional acoustic method. In addition, the stethoscope appears much more sophisticated because of the addition of the air clip. Lastly, the stethoscope can be used without taking any pressure measurements.

Digital Stethoscopes

A digital stethoscope uses digital circuitry to obtain the necessary sound measurements. This eliminates the need for using an airtight seal around the body. This stethoscope provides the benefit of easy operation, higher frequency response, and high signal resolution.

Professional Hearing Aid Amplifiers

Many medical professionals are now recommending the use of hearing aid sound amplification systems rather than conventional stethoscopes. This is due to the fact that many medical professionals now suffer from some form of hearing loss, which makes it difficult to hear external noises.

Loud Noise Reduction Technology

An electronic stethoscope uses a noise-reduction technology that reduces background sounds to provide better and clearer hearing. In addition to being amplified, the electronic stethoscope produces a lower volume sound so the wearer’s own background sounds do not interfere with the sound produced by the stethoscope. This means that the medical professional’s hearing is greatly improved.

The Dual-Head Stethoscope

A dual-headed stethoscope allows the user to take a hearing test in both ears at the same time. This is an excellent medical solution for medical professionals who must perform multiple examinations simultaneously. An example of a medical professional whose life may be greatly enhanced by the use of a dual-headed stethoscope would be a hearing specialist.


The wearing of headphones while examining patients makes a medical application of the electronic stethoscope even more convenient. The user can listen to soft music or operate a computer as long as there are headphones on. As an added benefit, the use of headphones provides a degree of privacy, allowing the medical professional to listen in on conversations between other health care professionals or patients.

These stethoscopes have many additional benefits over standard stethoscopes. These include; increased hearing loss prevention, ease of use, ability to hear higher frequencies, increased audibility, and reduced background sounds. Many medical professionals’ everyday lives are enhanced by these stethoscopes. All medical professionals should invest in a stethoscope, which has all of these benefits listed above. Standard stethoscopes are great tools for hearing loss prevention, but they lack some of these extra features. The electronic stethoscope offers every feature mentioned above, and in addition, it is much smaller than most standard stethoscopes, making them perfect for most medical practitioners.

When selecting your stethoscope, you should select one that works well with your current hearing devices. Many people have difficulty adjusting their hearing devices to small sounds that a standard stethoscope can readily capture. Because of this, it is important to buy a stethoscope that can be used with your current hearing device, or if possible, a stethoscope that will work with all of your hearing devices.

The stethoscope’s protective housing is its most noticeable feature. The housing houses the transducer, which is responsible for capturing and amplifying external sounds. There are two types of transducers to choose from, digital and mechanical. Digital units are far more expensive than their mechanical counterparts, but they tend to have a longer range and provide a more precise signal. The mechanical transducers tend to produce less sound pressure but are significantly less expensive, which makes them great for use in conjunction with an Alesis Atec stethoscope, which is specifically designed for lower frequency sounds.

The majority of audiologists recommend using either a stethoscope/augmentation unit or a chest piece or CPAP device when dealing with audiologists who suffer from lung sounds. Using a stethoscope/augmentation unit will allow you to obtain a more thorough diagnosis of lung sounds and airway obstruction, while a chest piece/CPAP machine will better diagnose sleep apnea and night choking conditions. A stethoscope/augmentation device will also be recommended for patients who have had significant head trauma or sudden changes in head size. CPAP machines have been known to prevent or treat the complications of a traumatic brain injury, such as a stroke.

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