The parts of a stethoscope work together to allow the user to hear the internal sounds of a patient’s body. However, there is a lot more that goes into the tubing of the stethoscope other than pretty colors and designs. The stethoscope tubing plays an important role. It facilitates how the sounds travel from the chest piece to your ears. Therefore, in this article, I will guide you and will give you all the information you need to know about stethoscope tubing and its functionality.
What Is Stethoscope Tubing?
Stethoscope tubing is typically made of PVC. The tubing has a soft, flexible, rubber connection between the headset and the chest piece. A diaphragm or bell captures the sound and is transferred to an ear tube via tubing with minimal sound quality loss. Essentially, the tubing carries the sound picked up by the chest piece and relays it to the receiver.
Stethoscope tubing can have single lumen tubing or double lumen tubing to improve sound transfer between the headset and the chest piece. But the type of tubing can also depend on the manufacturer, the kind of stethoscope, or the chest piece.
Single Lumen Tubing And Double Lumen Tubing
Single lumen stethoscopes have one tube that connects directly to the chest piece and splits into left and right sides. In contrast, double-lumen tubing has two individual tubes. This helps section sounds into the left and right headset areas for enhanced acoustic sensitivity. However, many good stethoscopes are available with either design to accommodate the individual’s preferences.
Tubing Features To Keep In Mind When Purchasing A Stethoscope
Buy A Thick Tubing Stethoscope
When one is choosing a stethoscope to buy, you want to pick one with tubing that is thick enough to block out external sounds. If the tubing is too thin, it can impact the quality of sound that you hear.
Choose The Tubing That Is Between 25-35 Cm Long
Moreover, tubing length is also essential. In general, it is best to select tubing that is 25 to 35 cm in length. A tube that is shorter than 25 cm might make it challenging to auscultate the patient comfortably.
In addition, it is crucial if you are a veterinarian and you are checking large animals. However, if the tubing is larger than 35 cm, this can also diminish the quality of sound you hear.
Moreover, you are able to purchase replacement tubing for your stethoscope rather than shopping for a new stethoscope. Littman’s stethoscopes include spare parts with every purchase.
Littman’s Stethoscopes Next-Generation Tubing
Now that Littmann’s stethoscopes offer new next-generation tubing, they remain shape- and flexibility-preserving despite being folded up tightly into pockets. A stethoscope with this coating has a longer life because it is more resistant to skin oils and alcohol, making it less likely to stain. Wearing the stethoscope over a collar whenever possible is, however, still a good idea.
Medical professionals and patients who are sensitive to natural rubber latex will benefit from next-generation tubing, as it is not made from latex. Furthermore, the next-generation tubing is free of phthalates plasticizers in order to protect human health and the environment.
Care For Tubing
Medical professionals in hospitals and clinics routinely use stethoscopes during patient examinations. As a result of contact with human skin lipids, the tubing material of stethoscopes hardens over time because of PVC (polyvinyl chloride). Some medical professionals have used a vinyl protectant once a month to reduce stiffening, although stethoscope manufacturers recommend staying away from oil and solvents.
Wear the stethoscope for a short period of time
Do not wear the stethoscope for long periods of time. You should not wear your stethoscope all day around your neck. Wear it only when checking vital signs. A number of oils within the person’s neck may damage the PVC tubing and cause damage to the hose.
Put Your Stethoscope Under The Collar Of Your Coat
You should wear your stethoscope beneath your collar flap. In order to prevent skin contact with your stethoscope, wearing a lab coat with a collar is a good idea if you need to wear your stethoscope all day. The tubing will not come into contact with the skin this way.
Buy A Stethoscope Cover For Protection Of Tubing
Several fabrics are available for you to choose from when you purchase a stethoscope slipcover. The medical uniform stores and equipment supply stores offer these specially designed covers. These covers prevent the tubing from hardening if it is in contact with the skin for a long period of time.