I can’t hear anything out of my stethoscope. What is wrong with it?
Littmann stethoscopes have a reputation for quality and superior acoustic performance. If the acoustic performance seems to be lacking or absent, visit Use of Your Stethoscope for tips to optimise your stethoscope's performance.
Do Littmann stethoscopes contain latex?
Littmann stethoscopes do not contain natural rubber latex or dry natural rubber as components or in the product or packaging.
Can any Littmann stethoscope be used during an MRI?
No. All Littmann stethoscopes contain metal.
Is there a difference in sound quality between long and short tubing?
Past publications have suggested that the shorter the tubing, the better the acoustic response. Laboratory testing has shown this to be true, but the average hearing person will only pick up a difference if there is an extreme increase in tubing length. In fact, based on the manner in which sound waves travel, there is a slight advantage in low frequency sounds with longer tubing. Most heart sounds are considered to be in the lower frequency range. Length of tubing seems to be a personal preference, based on physique and infection control issues viewed by the user.
When using a stethoscope with a tunable diaphragm, the user does not have to remove the chestpiece from the patient in order to change from the bell to diaphragm mode. Also, single-sided chestpieces are shaped to provide a more comfortable grip for better feel and control.
When listening to low frequency sounds with a tunable diaphragm as opposed to a bell, there will be an increase in amplitude, or loudness. This is because the sound is coming through a diaphragm with a larger surface area, as opposed to the smaller opening on a standard bell. The sound pressure level increases with an increase in contact area on the patient.
A tunable diaphragm offers convenience and versatility. A tunable diaphragm on a two-sided stethoscope offers one the choice of using it as a traditional stethoscope, or using only the diaphragm side for both low and high frequency sounds.
How do I measure my tubing length?
Tubing length is measured from the top of the eartips to the bottom of the chestpiece.
Can I get a replacement diaphragm for my Model 3000?
Diaphragma can be ordered through the 3M Customer Service Centre or an authorised 3M dealer.
What if I lose the screw that secures the battery compartment of my Model 3000?
There is no need to completely remove the screw during battery replacement. However, in the unlikely event that a battery compartment screw needs to be replaced, one can be ordered through the 3M Customer Service Centre or an authorised 3M dealer. As an emergency procedure, until you receive the screw replacement, we suggest to push the chestpiece firmly closed and apply two layers of a strong tape over the joint line including the screw opening.
How should I routinely clean my mechanical or electronic stethoscope? Can I sterilise it?
Do not immerse your stethoscope in any liquid or subject it to any sterilisation process. If disinfection is required, the stethoscope may be wiped with a 70% isopropyl alcohol solution.
For more information on cleaning both electronic and mechanical stethoscopes, see Cleaning and Care.
Why does the tubing on my stethoscope become stiff and rigid after a period of years?
The majority of tubing used on Littmann stethoscopes is made of PVC (polyvinylchloride) which becomes hard when exposed for long periods of time to the lipids found in human skin. Wearing the stethoscope around the neck may cause stiffening of the tubing over time. If worn around the neck, we recommend wearing the stethoscope over a collar away from contact with your skin.
It is best to wipe down the scope, both chestpiece and headset, with alcohol. If necessary the diaphragm can be removed for cleaning and also wiped with alcohol. The stethoscope is splash proof; however, it should not be immersed in any liquid.
Can I still get the 3M™ Littmann® Cardiology II S.E. Stethoscope?
The Cardiology II S.E. Stethoscope has been discontinued. However, the paediatric side of the 3M™ Littmann® Cardiology III can be easily converted to a traditional bell like the Cardiology II S.E. After removing the tunable diaphragm, replace it with the nonchill bell sleeve included in the spare parts box. Slip the bell sleeve over the edge of the bell and fit it into place.
The diameter of the paediatric diaphragm on the Cardiology III stethoscope is the same as that of the Classic II Paediatric stethoscope. The tunable diaphragm, along with the design of the small side of the Cardiology III chestpiece, offers better sound especially in the low frequency end of the spectrum. Sound intensity of the Cardiology III stethoscope is greater than that found in the infant and paediatric stethoscopes. The Cardiology III stethoscope offers greater versatility than either the infant or paediatric stethoscope.
Most neonatal specialists report that the diameter of the bell and diaphragm on this model is still too large to get good surface contact. If the infant is larger, the Classic II Infant model would be appropriate.
In 1996 the standard floating diaphragm on the Classic II was replaced with a tunable diaphragm. The result was the S.E., or special edition of the Classic II.
Can I replace the floating diaphragm of my Classic II or Cardiology II with a tunable diaphragm in order to use the tunable diaphragm effect?
No. Tunable stethoscopes like the 3M™ Littmann® Classic II S.E. or Cardiology III Stethoscope have an attenuating ring behind the diaphragm to make the tunable function possible. The old 3M™ Littmann® Classic II/Cardiology II Stethoscope cannot be retrofitted to a 3M™ Littmann® Classic II S.E./Cardiology III Stethoscope.
Every time I switch on my Model 3000, it starts on a very loud (or very low) level. It was not like this when I bought it.
It means that the default volume setting may have been accidentally changed. You can reset it to the volume level that is most effective and comfortable for you by first selecting that volume level, and then pressing the PLUS or MINUS button until you hear a double beep sound. The stethoscope will start at that volume level each time you turn it on and until you programme it differently. Changing the volume during auscultation will not affect the preset volume setting you have established.
Why is the surface of the chestpiece of my Model 3000 so shiny?
To reduce the potential of friction and handling noise coming from finger movements.
Will the silver surface of chestpiece of Model 3000 get scratched easily?
No, because it is chrome plated, and chrome is a very solid and durable material.
I do not have a hearing deficit, why would I need an electronic stethoscope?
There are many heart and lung sounds that are difficult to hear for a variety of reasons and can be potentially missed even with normal hearing. Amplification with ambient noise reduction helps you hear what you need to hear.
Neither stethoscope is "better" than the other. Rather, each fills a different set of clinical needs. With the Model 4100, sounds can be recorded and then transmitted to a computer or Pocket PC and viewed as a phonocardiogram for teaching or telemedicine. The recording feature is not available with the 3000; however, a large percentage of 3000 users do not have the need for the recording feature. Use the Product Selector to compare the Model 4100 and 3000 features.
Can I send sounds to a computer using the Model 3000?
No - The Model 3000 has no recording or sound transfer capabilities. Such features can be found in the Model 4100.
I hear very well using my cardiology stethoscope. What is the advantage of a Model 3000 over a conventional cardiology type stethoscope?
The Model 3000 allows you to amplify hard to hear sounds. Distracting ambient noise is reduced by an average of 75%. The two features, amplification and ambient noise reduction, do help clinicians not to miss the sounds they need to hear.
Approximately 200 hours (six months) of normal use. Before the battery is depleted completely, you will hear a warning tone that the battery has only two more hours of continuous use. The Model 3000, if running on a low battery, will perform as normal and sound quality will not be compromised.
Is there a special way that I should fold the tubing for carrying or storing the Model 3000?
No - it can be handled the same way as a non-electronic Littmann stethoscope. For example, you can fold it and place it in your pocket.
I sometimes hear noises other than ambient room noise when listening using my Model 3000.
The sensor is very receptive, and it can therefore pick up your hand-muscle tremors if you grip the scope too tightly.
If the battery is depleted will the Model 3000 function as a non-electronic stethoscope?
No, the Model 3000 Electronic Stethoscope will not work without the battery.