Stethoscopes are a vital aspect of the health care profession. As an acoustic device for auscultation, they are used to listen to heart and lung sounds, intestines, and blood flow in arteries and veins.
With multiple brands, styles and companies competing with one another today, the 3M Littmann stethoscopes are a distinguished best seller in the market. They are used world wide, and are available in both traditional bell style models and a single sided chest piece. Littmann stethoscopes revolutionized auscultation, with incredible design and acoustic precision.
A little history
Stethoscopes were first used in the early 18th century. The French physician Rene Laennec created a wooden monaural stethoscope that had a large diameter base that funneled sound through a small opening. Unlike modern scopes, this early version only transmitted sound to one ear.
It wasn’t until 1843 that the first binaural stethoscope was created. This was modified until it used an ebony chest piece with tubing made of wire that was covered in silk. The ear tips were ivory.
The 1960’s and David Littmann
The 1960’s brought about a great change in the use of stethoscopes. Doctor David Littmann, M.D. was an American cardiologist born in Chelsea Massachusetts, who was a Harvard Medical School professor and researcher. He developed the very first model of what we now know as the 3M Littmann stethoscope. In 1961, he described his dream stethoscope: it should have an open chest piece to detect low pitched sound, a closed chest piece with a plastic diaphragm to filter low frequency sounds, the tubing should be firm with a very short overall length and a spring to hold the ear tubes apart. The stethoscope should be light and convenient to carry.
This description is what we recognize as the two sided chest piece stethoscope and was unlike any other stethoscopes available at the time. The 3M Littmann Cardiology III is similar to this early model.
Dr Littmann later founded a company called Cardiosonics, Inc which was based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The firm produced two stethoscopes, the doctors stethoscope and the nurses stethoscope.
The 3M Company, formerly known as the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, is an American corporation based in St. Paul Minnesota founded in 1902.
The now produces 55,000 different products, some of which include, adhesives, dental products, electric materials and of course stethoscopes. 3M has operations in more than 65 countries including 29 international companies with manufacturing operations and 35 companies with laboratories. 3M products are available for purchase through distributors and retailers in more than 200 countries, and online directly from the company.
3M recognized the superb acoustic quality of Dr Littmann‘s stethoscopes and acquired the company in 1967. Dr Littmann then began to work for 3M as a consultant. Between 1967 and 1970, the Littmann range had expanded to 10 models. The tubing color was limited to gray and black, but tubing length was now available in 22″ or 28″.
3M Littmann Cardiology III Stethoscope
The Cardiology received a 4.7 rating out of 5 on Amazon.com and is arguably the best Stethoscope for medical doctors whatever field you are in. With impressive top-notch acoustics, and a comfortable fit, the innovative design and versatility lets you easily switch from adult to pediatric. It also features a dual lumen to eliminate interference caused by the tubes rubbing together, and an anatomically correct headset. Like the other Littmann Stethoscopes, the Cardiology lll comes with the non-chill bell. It is available in a few colors, including black, brown, grey, purple and chocolate. The superior quality and durability is built to last, making the instrument a worthwhile investment. It retails at $200 but typically sells on Amazon.com for 26% less.
Be cautious that if warn in direct contact with your skin the tubing will stiffen and eventually crack. You can purchase a vinyl protector or be sure not to wear it in direct contact with your skin.
The 3M Littmann Stethoscopes have been around since the late 1960’s and have been offering high quality acoustics ever since inception. Whether you are a doctor or someone in the field of health care, the Littmann stethoscopes are a superior product that won’t disappoint.