Stethoscopes are specifically designed for different uses within medical fields. A cardiology stethoscope is used by cardiologists and nurses of cardiology as it has a greater capacity to hear high and low-frequency sounds. This is highly important to the field as professionals in cardiology need to accurately hear the pumping of blood. Ideally, they should be able to hear the blood pumping through all four chambers of the heart for correct understanding and diagnosis.
Also known as Littman stethoscopes or cardiology 4 stethoscopes, they are more advanced for listening to blood than regular stethoscopes, which are designed for medical professionals to understand broader inner workings such as bowel sounds, the heartbeat, or fluid in the lungs. Littmann cardiology stethoscopes can hear much more acute sounds, like the clicks, murmurs and rubs of the heart and blood flow.
In this article, Team Medical Supplies explore how they’re used and the features that make them an excellent device.
How cardiology stethoscopes are used
Cardiology stethoscopes are used to hear the intricacies of the heartbeat and sonically sense the heart pumping through different regions of the heart. The acoustics of the heart can be subtle, and cardiologists often practise and study for a long time to interpret the noises they hear through a stethoscope. The commonly understood ‘da-dum’ of the heartbeat is just one of many sounds cardiologists and nurses pay attention to.
Heart murmurs are the sound of blood leakages through valves and indicate that the valves aren’t working properly. Cardiology stethoscopes can pick up on murmurs, but it can take a specialist to discern the sound and understand what it means. Trained professionals can typically grade the murmur and add severity to it by evaluating the degree of auscultation.
- Wearing the earplugs: The earplug tips are pointed towards the noise and twisted to seal the sound coming to the earpiece. Outside noises should be soft when worn correctly.
- Holding the tubing: The user holds the chest piece or diaphragm in their dominant hand between their middle and index fingers so it can move smoothly with their hand, and just above the knuckle. Wrapping the thumb underneath the tube can prevent interfering sound and help keep it still and in position.
- Placing the chest piece: Users place the chest piece or diaphragm directly against the skin in the position of the heart. It can also work if it’s placed on one piece of clothing against the skin if necessary.
How do they work?
Cardiology stethoscopes have a higher standard of performance and design compared to regular stethoscopes. They have a thicker and shorter tube between earpieces and the piece of tube connecting the diaphragm. This means there’s a much shorter distance for sound to travel and there’s less influence by exterior sounds. The thicker tubing results in increased transmission so users can listen for a larger variety of body sounds.
Curled tubing with a long length causes a common problem of sound interference in regular stethoscopes. Cardiology stethoscopes avoid this issue as their short length minimises rubbing and the associated noises it creates. Cardiology stethoscopes also have a more robust, heavier and well-designed headpiece. It sits on the head more comfortably, with larger earplugs that seal out environmental noise. The diaphragm is made of quality stainless steel instead of plastic to reverberate noise much more effectively.
Looking for a Littmann stethoscope in Australia? Team Medical Supplies has a wide collection of high-quality stethoscopes to perfectly equip your medical centre. For more information, please contact us today by calling 1300 22 44 50, or complete our online enquiry form.