Can a Stethoscope Stand the Test of Time? Find Out at Mentone Educational!

Author: Nicole Adler   Date Posted:14 March 2018 

One of the most frequent questions we get at Mentone Educational is: “How long does a stethoscope last?” The answer to this question is less straightforward though because the durability can vary according to brand, materials used in the construction of the stethoscope, daily use, and much more.

To help customers determine the durability of their stethoscope, we have created a useful guide below. Read the guide to protect your stethoscope against premature signs of wear and tear, but also to find out what the most durable stethoscopes are before purchasing!

Why Has the Stethoscope Stood the Test of Time?

Before we explain the durability of stethoscopes in more detail, it is important to realise that the stethoscope is a piece of medical equipment that has been around for a long time. The stethoscope was invented in France in 1816, although tools that could be closely related to the stethoscope have been found further back in history. Therefore, the stethoscope is certainly medical equipment that has stood the test of time.

What Stethoscope Tubing Should You Choose for Durability?

One of the most important things where the durability of your stethoscope is concerned is the tubing material. Tubing material must be resistant to most of the compounds and materials found in medical environments. Many of these compounds could cause premature damage to the tubing material, subsequently reducing the lifespan of your stethoscope.

Two materials that are commonly associated with damage to tubing material are skin oils and alcohol. Naturally, these are two compounds the stethoscope encounters daily in a medical environment, so protection against these two materials will be most important!

One of our recommendations for tubing material is the next-generation tubing used by the Littmann stethoscope brand. Their next-generation tubing is more resistant to skin oils and alcohol, which makes it the more durable choice for most medical professionals.

What Stethoscope Models Are the Most Durable?

When it comes to the durability of stethoscopes, there are additional things to consider; this includes the construction materials of the stethoscope overall and the durability of the design. Based on these criteria, Mentone Educational has selected the most durable stethoscope from the entire Mentone Educational collection.

The most durable stethoscope in our catalogue is undoubtedly the 3M Littmann Cardiology IV Stethoscope. The 3M Littmann Cardiology IV is a popular choice amongst specialists such as cardiologists, but also for general practitioners, nurses, and other medical professionals.

As mentioned briefly earlier, the Littmann Cardiology IV is made with next-generation tubing; this means the stethoscope has one of the most reliable and sturdy tubes out there. Of course, the construction of the chestpiece and even the anatomically-designed headset certainly adds a lot more durability to the stethoscope overall.

How Long Do Stethoscopes Last?

It is next to impossible to put an actual time on the lifespan of your stethoscope. As we mentioned earlier, the durability of your stethoscope is subject to the brand and the materials used in the construction. It is also subject to how often you maintain your stethoscope.

To increase the lifespan of your stethoscope, it is advised to maintain your stethoscope daily. The daily maintenance of your stethoscope is necessary for other reasons too, since irregular maintenance could cause the spread of infections, bacteria, and other nasties that remain on the stethoscope at the end of the working day.

Not quite sure how you should maintain your stethoscope? Follow the maintenance instructions that came with your stethoscope to give it a thorough clean. Alternatively, you can also visit the many information pages on stethoscope maintenance at Mentone Educational.

When Should You Consider Replacing Your Stethoscope?

There are many reasons why clinicians may be considering replacing their stethoscope. One of the most obvious reasons is when the stethoscope shows clear signs of wear and tear; for example, cracks in the tubing material or scratches on the chestpiece. However, there are other reasons why you might consider a replacement too.

Another reason why a clinician chooses a new stethoscope is technology advancement. Stethoscopes get better over time, so a newer stethoscope could make diagnosis a little easier. One of the main things that can improve on a stethoscope is the acoustics, so be sure to look for an upgrade if you work in an environment that requires top-of-the-line acoustics.

Other reasons why clinicians may want to replace their stethoscope is adding some personalisation to their stethoscope to prevent loss, reduce the weight of their existing stethoscope, or simply benefit from some new features that have been added to a newer stethoscope collection.

Do you want to know if there is a better stethoscope out there for you, but could you use some expert advice? Get in touch with the Mentone Educational team to discuss your stethoscope upgrade.