All About lightweight Stethoscopes – Uses, Specs and More

If you are a nurse or a medical student, you might be looking for an affordable stethoscope to diagnose or check up the adults and paediatric patients. This is where lightweight stethoscopes come in. These stethoscopes are perfect for taking blood pressure readings and making limited assessments of patients.

To make stethoscopes that are modern, affordable, and come with different features, many companies have introduced lightweight stethoscopes. 

In this article, I will review the best lightweight stethoscope. In addition, I will discuss all the precautions you should take while selecting a lightweight stethoscope.  

How are Lightweight Stethoscopes Different?

Lightweight II S.E. stethoscope from 3M Littman is a developed entry-level instrument with great features like an adjustable diaphragm, dual-sided chest piece, and reliable acoustic performance. In addition, because of its teardrop shape, it is easier to auscultate around blood pressure cuffs.

As they are lightweight stethoscopes, they weigh just 118 grams. These are the lightest of all Littman adult stethoscopes, making it more comfortable for caregivers who wear their stethoscopes all day long. 

This program will benefit nursing students and medical professionals like LPNs, vocational nurses, and certified nursing assistants.

Basic Features of the Lightweight Stethoscopes:

This instrument boasts several unique features such as tunable diaphragms, dual-sided chest pieces, and adjustable headsets. Let’s examine them in more detail:

Tunable diaphragm technology:

With this 3M invention, clinicians can adjust the pressure on the chest piece to listen to different frequency sounds. For example, you can hear low-frequency sounds by lightly pressing the chest piece on the patient’s chest. Further, you can listen to higher-frequency sounds by pressing a bit harder. 

Healthcare providers can concentrate on the patient with this time-saving feature and comfort the non-chill diaphragm and rim.

Flexible tubing:

Flexible tubing maintains its shape and elasticity even after being folded tightly. As a result, medical professionals and patients with sensitivity will benefit from next-generation tubing made with natural rubber latex. In addition, Next-generation tubing is free of phthalates plasticizers, protecting human health and the environment at the same time.

Adjustable binaural:

Moreover, squeezing or pulling apart the ear tubes adjusts the headset tension to fit the head size and comfort. Thus, the binaural spring allows a comfortable fit through simple pressure.

Soft-sealing ear tips:

The soft-seal, snap-tight ear tips adjust to the shape of individual ears for exceptional fit and acoustic performance. However, removing ear tips requires considerable effort. These flexible ear tips snap securely onto the tubes. Lightweight II SE Stethoscope is made in the U.S. to ensure consistently high quality. The kit includes instructions as well as large, soft-sealing ear tips.

What is the difference between the Littman lightweight and Littman classic stethoscope?

Price:

In comparison to Littman Lightweight II SE, the price of Littman Classic III significantly differs from Littman Lightweight II SE. If you are a student nurse, this could influence your choice.

 It costs approximately 100 dollars for Littman Classic III and 54 dollars for Littman Lightweight II S.E. on Amazon. Do price differences affect the stethoscope’s quality? Read on to find out.

Weight:

The Littman Classic weighs 150g or 5.5oz, the equivalent of around the weight of an Apple, and the Littman Lightweight II S.E. weighs around 118g, the same as a 4.1oz candy bar. 

This may be due to its plastic construction rather than its steel construction. In addition, the Littman Lightweight is the lightest stethoscope, which means that you do not have to worry about stressing your neck while wearing it all day because it will hardly feel like you are wearing it.

Sound quality:

Users review for the Littman Classic III Acoustics 4/5 Stars. Despite only having a single lumen tube, it is clear and loud. In contrast, the Littman Lightweight II S.E. had a 3/5 Star rating, probably due to its plastic construction. Although the sound quality isn’t ideal, it’s acceptable considering the price. 

Feel of tubing:

Tubes for stethoscopes are not all the same. When using a Littman Classic III, the tube feels sticky. As a result, it snags and sticks to the hairs in the back of your neck. However, the Littman Lightweight II S.E. is slightly better on this front since the tubing feels smooth, as if it were made of velvet rather than plastic, and feels less grainy. 

Despite the different textures of the tubes of these stethoscopes, it would still be wise to handle them gently by storing them inside a stethoscope case when you are not using them. 

Guarantee:

On the Littman Classic III box is a warranty for five years, and on the Littman Lightweight II S.E. is a warranty for two years. You are therefore entitled to a free stethoscope repair, except in cases of apparent or accidental damage.

Benefits Of Using A Lightweight Stethoscope

Beyond Basic, It Has Premium Features 

Instead of spending a hundred dollars on a branded stethoscope, why not buy a reasonable one? This lightweight stethoscope has all the key features you should look for when buying a stethoscope. An inexpensive stethoscope has similar features to an expensive stethoscope, from a tunable diaphragm to durable tubing.

Lightweight Construction Makes It Easy To Carry And Wear

The other benefit of using a lightweight stethoscope is it only weighs 118 grams, making it a great option for physicians and nurses working all day with a stethoscope. Now, if you are tired of carrying your tool all day, the lightweight stethoscope makes it easier to hang your tool around your neck when not in use without feeling fatigued. 

So the beginner or a trainer looking for a budget-friendly stethoscope, this one is a must-have.

Not-Latex Construction Makes It An Environment-Friendly Tool

Moreover, next-generation tubing is good news for patients and users who are allergic to latex. The tubing is not made with rubber latex, so for the patients and users, the environment is safe as well as the next-generation tubing does not contain phthalates plasticizers. That makes the lightweight stethoscopes an environment-friendly tool.

The Dual-Sided Chest piece Is Both For Adults And Pediatrics.

The dual side chest piece makes the stethoscope useful for diagnosing both adults and children. It provides the versatility of an open bell for children and a tunable diaphragm for examining adults. 

Branded Tool At A Low Price

For those fans of branded products, it’s good news that the lightweight stethoscopes are from Littman, a very renowned brand. Also, they come at a very affordable price. It means they are long-lasting and friendly to the budget. 

Precautions:  

  • Don’t expose your stethoscope to extreme heat or cold, solvents, or oils. 
  • It is possible to wipe the stethoscope clean with soap and water or alcohol. 
  • Cleaning the ear tubes requires removing the ear tips. 

Note: Never submerge or steam sterilize your stethoscope. To disinfect the stethoscope, wipe it with a 70% solution of isopropyl alcohol. 

Intended Use: 

Physical assessments and general purposes like measuring blood pressure are intended for this product. In addition, it can be used for examining the heart, lungs, and other body parts. Besides, the product is not intended to be used except under the directions on the package.

Instructions for Use: 

Chest piece:

 A Littman stethoscope with a traditional combination chest piece can be set to the diaphragm or open bell mode by holding the stem between your finger and thumb or rotating the chest piece until you hear a click. 

Ear tip replacement: 

The lightweight stethoscope comes with comfortable, secured 3M Littman soft-sealing ear tips for maximum acoustic performance. Because of its unique design, you can easily attach the ear tip to the ear tube with this stethoscope. Then, snap the ear tips firmly onto the ear tube at the end. 

Headset Adjustment: 

You can find that the ear tubes are set to fit the typical anatomy of the ear canal. For example, when inserting the ear tips into your ear canals, they should face forward. 

You can reduce spring tension in the headset by gradually pulling the ear tubes apart until they fully widen near the bend. Next, grab the headset by the tubing that connects the ear tubes with one hand and squeeze until all the plastic of one ear tube touches the other. Continue it as necessary.

Photo of author

Muhammad Bilal Qayyum

MBBS from Taishan Medical University and currently working in Bahawal Victoria Hospital. The blog is a great resource for both novices and experienced users when it comes to stethoscopes. As I studied and practiced, I evaluated various models on the market, which led me to become an expert in stethoscopes.

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