After using a stethoscope for a pretty long time, eventually, it gets damaged like any other tool. The only option available to you, in this case, is to replace its parts. Tubing is a part that is commonly damaged or cracked. This is a soft, flexible part of the stethoscope that can be easily damaged if not handled properly.
When you notice that your stethoscope tubing is cracked, you should replace it by buying a new tube. Unless you already have free replacement parts. Simply remove the old tubing by squeezing it. Then attach new tubing to your stethoscope by gently twisting it at the binaural and diaphragm.
However, removing the cracked tube which is tight enough can be troubleshooting. So for your ease, we are providing you with a step-by-step guide in detail to clear your confusion. Reading this further blog post, you shall be able to get your tubing done.
How To Replace Stethoscope Tubing
In any case, where you find your stethoscope tubing is cracked or no longer usable, you gotta replace it. Not doing so will affect your stethoscope functionality and you won’t be able to hear clear sounds.
You can replace tubing by following the steps given below.
Step 1: purchase fresh tubing:
You can buy a new tube that is suitable for your stethoscope to replace a cracked one. Some stethoscopes come with two side tubings and some come with one. Before buying, check if it is compatible with your tool.
The new good news is some stethoscopes offer you free replacement parts, in this case, you don’t have to buy any part at all.
Step 2: uninstall the broken tubing:
Once you have your new tubing, it’s time to uninstall the old cracked tube of the stethoscope. To do so, you have to twist and take out the old tubing from the diaphragm and binaural.
Sometimes, you might have your old tubing stiff and dry which is not easy to take out. In this situation, you gotta grab a blade, and cut away the sides of the tubing. After cutting, use a cloth and rubbing alcohol to clean and wipe any remnants of old tubing from the sides of the binaural and diaphragm.
Step 3: installment of the new tubing:
Replacing the new tubing is simple and easy. All you need to do is gently twist the new tubing on both the sides binaural and diaphragm and fix the tubing. Once you have done this, you are all ready to use and check your stethoscope if it’s functioning.
What is the cause of stethoscope tubing damage?
Cracks in stethoscope tubing may be caused by several factors. Listed below are some of the main reasons for this.
You hang it around your neck:
We all see this habit of most of the physicians who hang the stethoscopes around their necks every time. Well, I know this looks cool, but how come we ignore the damage it’s causing? You must be thinking how come a neck can cause damage to the stethoscope.
Basically, our skin produces oil and sweat. Those chemicals cause cracks to form in your stethoscope’s tubing, which in turn damages your instrument.
Overwiping the tool:
Another main reason behind your tubing damage is the over wiping you do. In the alcohols you use for rubbing and cleaning, there are chemicals that damage and crack the tubing if you use them a lot.
You can take a general example of a cloth. You will damage it if you clean it over and over again with chemicals. The same thing goes for tubing. As they are soft and mostly made with PVC, they can be cracked easily if you over wipe them. If you use alcohol over time, your plastic will slowly deteriorate and crack.
I am recommending you to use a cleaner which has fewer chemicals. The common cleaner people often use is Armor All and it is highly recommended as well.
You fold and crease your stethoscope:
Take the example of earphones. More folds and creases mean more chances of it being damaged. Therefore, when you fold and crease the stethoscope and put it in your drawer or somewhere else, its tubing will start cracking. As the tubing is generally made with PCV, one should place it carefully.
A stethoscope should always be hung or kept in a position that does not require it to be folded or rigid.
How to prevent the tubing from damaging?
As mentioned above, skin oils and sweat are bad for your stethoscope tubing. Therefore, if you wear it around your neck, make sure it is placed under your coat’s collar or on your clothing. However, you can also place it in your pocket or somewhere it is safe.
Moreover, to keep your tubing prevented, you don’t have to over clean or over wipe it with alcohol. Excessive use of alcohol for cleaning purposes can cause damage to your stethoscope.
Other than that, one should use a proper cleaner to clean their tubing which is free from extra chemicals. You should also ensure that you do not fold or knot the tubing of your stethoscope. It can be cracked. It should be placed or hung in a safe area.
Also, you can protect your tubing from damage with a rubber protectant.. The Rubber Protectant is also applied to the dashboard of a vehicle to keep it strong and secure. As such, you can also use it for stethoscope tubing.
Why is replacing the stethoscope tubing important?
Keeping your stethoscope neat and in good condition is crucial for any medical practitioner. Not taking the time to look after your stethoscope can result in not working properly and the possibility of putting patients at risk.
Maintaining your stethoscope should be a priority to extend its life and keep it functioning properly.
However, if you do not replace your tubing once it gets hardened, it can stop performing and start breaking down.