A Review of Littman Stethoscopes

A Review of Littman Stethoscopes

Dr. David Littman, a famous cardiologist, inventor, and Harvard Medical School professor, greatly improved the acoustic qualities of stethoscopes in 1963. He believed it was vital to have a stethoscope with two chestpieces, an open one used to hear low pitch sounds and a closed, flat chestpiece to pick up higher pitched sounds. His ideas enabled doctors to get quicker, more accurate readings on patient’s internal body sounds. Instead of only being able to hear low or high-pitched sounds exclusively, doctors were able to listen to both frequencies with one stethoscope. Littman Stethoscopes have evolved dramatically over the years. Littman Stethoscopes are great for general physical assessment and for cardiology.

There are many types of Littman stethoscopes on the market. 3M bought Dr. Littman’s Cardiosonics, Inc. company in 1967, keeping the doctor on as a consultant and designer. There are now standard acoustic Littman stethoscopes as well as newer electronic models that provide even greater amplification. One of the greatest improvements on the original design was the advent of the tunable stethoscope. A tunable stethoscope features the diaphragm and bell on one chestpiece instead of two. The doctor can lightly press the chestpiece to the patient’s skin to use the bell to hear low frequency sounds. Doctors who want to listen for high frequency sound apply more pressure to the chestpiece, which flattens it and makes a traditional diaphragm.

Littman stethoscopes are widely used by cardiologists and other specialists who need the maximum amount of accuracy and sound amplification from their instruments. While specialists worldwide trust Littman stethoscopes, general practitioners use them for routine physical exams as well.

3M’s Littman stethoscopes are highly regarded for their accuracy, dependability, and comfort for both the doctor and the patient. There are a number of models available that are designed for use in a variety of settings, from the operating room to the pediatrician’s office.