A quick tune-up: Five steps to make the most of your 3M™ Littmann® Stethoscope

male clinician trying on littmann stethoscope

Your 3M™ Littmann® Stethoscope is the stethoscope you know and love. Whether you’ve had your stethoscope forever or are new to the Littmann family, you likely feel confident in how you handle your trusted tool. But there are some simple steps you can take to ensure the performance and wearability of your Littmann Stethoscope – and we want to make sure you get in on all the great benefits. Who doesn’t love a good tune-up?

# 1: Align the headset
Before placing the eartips in your ears, make sure they point forward, away from you. Holding the headset in front of you with one ear tube in each hand, pull the headset open and place the eartips into your ears.

#2: If the fit isn’t comfortable, or acoustic performance is lacking:
• Adjust the headset tension. Gently squeeze the eartubes together to increase headset tension; pull them apart to decrease tension.
• Use the right ear tip size. For optimal acoustic performance, use the ear tip size that best fits your ear.

# 3: Rotate to the correct side
When using a double-sided Littmann stethoscope, you need to open (or index) the side you want to use—bell or diaphragm—by rotating the chestpiece. If the diaphragm is open, the bell will be closed, preventing sound from coming in through the bell, and vice versa.

# 4: Remove potential obstructions
Lint or dirt may obstruct the sound pathway. Be sure to give your stethoscope routine cleaning and care. If you use a 3M Littmann®, Cardiology IV™, Classic III Stethoscope, or 3M Littmann® CORE Stethoscope, keep the open bell free of debris by covering it with the removable diaphragm.

# 5: Check the seal
Stethoscopes rely on an airtight seal to transmit body sounds from the patient to the practitioner’s ears. Loose parts in the chestpiece, cracked tubing, or improperly seated eartips can prevent an airtight seal.

And there you have it! Five simple steps to make the most of your stethoscope. Happy listening.

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Sandra Velte

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