Why are there so many stethoscopes to choose from and what makes some stethoscopes better than others? Prestige Medical is happy to help answer these questions for you. Generally speaking, there are three main design features of a stethoscope which impacts its performance and we call themThe Stethoscope Trinity.
Ear tips: The ability of the eartip to conform to the outer ear canal to seal out extraneous sound while enabling maximum sound transference is critical to the optimal performance of a stethoscope. However, each individual has differences in the size and shape of their ear canals. By following these design requirements, Prestige Medical has developed two sizes of premium soft silicone eartips for the Clinical stethoscope series. Silicone is an excellent material for eartips as it provides superior softness, conformability, and resists exposure to chemicals and oils. Prestige Medical also provides soft, conforming PVC eartips for most other stethoscopes to enhance their performance and comfort.
Tubing: Stethoscope tubing is designed to transfer acoustic sound waves channeled by the stethoscope’s diaphragm and bell to the practitioner during auscultation. The thickness of the tube is an important factor in enhancing the efficiency of sound transference. A slightly thicker stethoscope tube more efficiently transfers sound waves while minimizing acoustic interference from the ambient environment. The length of the tubing is also important to most individuals by enabling a mutually comfortable and safe distance to be maintained between the practitioner and the patient. Most Prestige Medical stethoscopes incorporate thick walled and long-length tubing to help deliver optimal performance.
Metal: There are three metals from which most Prestige Medical stethoscopes are constructed: stainless steel, aluminum, and zinc. Stainless steel is an alloy prized for its durability and resistance to corrosion, rust, and staining. It is also an excellent metal for the transference of sound waves. Aluminum is an element which is less resistant than stainless steel, but it is very light weight and economical and that lends a significant functionality benefit to those who prefer the convenience of a lighter weight instrument. Zinc is an element which is excellent for manufacturing complex stethoscope parts economically such as the SpragueRappaport chestpiece while still providing very good acoustic characteristics.