Need your oppinions on stethascopes [Archive] - Glock Talk


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02-05-2005, 21:06
Ok I am about to start clinical for my EMT-B. We are using the ADC ADSCOPE in class room labs, and well..... I don't know. In a room with everyone talking it gets tough to hear when taking vitals. A friend swears up and down, that I need to get a Littman Classic II SE ($70.00), if I want a good stethoscope. Now my view point is as a basic about the most I will be doing is patient assessment and vitals, and I would like a good stethoscope, so as to not have to keep borrowing one from the person on shift. So here is my question what do you all use and what works the best for you all? Keep in mind that I am more concerned with how well it will perform in the field and back of the ambulance with all the noise, than if it can tell you the number of red blood cells flowing through the artery in one minute. Any help would be great. Thanks in advance.


02-05-2005, 22:34
I agree with your friend, Littman makes the best quality scopes, I have been using them for years. I have the Classic II and it works great in the back of a moving rig or anywhere else there is lots of ambient noise. If I was to buy one today, I would get the Master Classic II, its only about $25.00 more than the Classic II and it has the heavier "Cardiac" style head piece, which seems to work even better in the field. If you are thinking about making EMS your career, moving up to paramedic, or just have a bunch of money burning a hole in your pocket, the Littman Master Cardiology is the best scope out there. A co-worker has one and they will pick up anything you would ever want to hear in any amount of outside noise. The problem with them is that they cost around $200.00, but its an investment in your career and it will last you for many years.
Also, if you buy a decent scope, make sure you get the inside of the bell engraved, it will help keep it from walking away.
Good Luck!

02-05-2005, 23:25
thanks DepChief, I wasn't sure where the line between a scope being nice and too nice for field use (kinda like the mercadies SUV). I have checked out the littman site and they do make some nice stuff, I will have to look into the master clasic II, only 25 more hu.. I was/am cautious about buying the high dollar scopes, I am tough on my gear no mater what it cost, so i need something that is not just pretty on the shelf, but works good when coverd in mud, or what ever else you could throw at it.

02-05-2005, 23:31
My wife bought me a Littman about a year ago and the thing is great. My only complaint is that the right ear piece keeps getting lost!

A good stethascope is a necesity in this line of work. Taking a bp or listening to L/S with a cheap stethascope is almost impossible in the back of a truck or on a scene with people talking around you!

02-05-2005, 23:58
Originally posted by DaleGribble
My wife bought me a Littman about a year ago and the thing is great. My only complaint is that the right ear piece keeps getting lost!

Check your right ear, it might be there!

02-06-2005, 00:03
Littmans are very durable. I am very rough on mine and have had it for several years and it has held up great. But like Dale stated, I would get a few spare ear pieces, they do tend to get lost.

02-06-2005, 00:30
Why Littman of course:cool: :cool:

Get the best one you can afford, I've got the Classic II & we now have new Master Classic II's on our rescues & they are **** hot!!!!!!!!!!!

02-06-2005, 09:11
i have a CardioSonic Stethoscope that i still use, its old but works great worth taking a look at IMO

02-06-2005, 10:55
I have a classic two, but to be honest, it stays in my protocol bag most of the time, and I just use the ten dollar one that the county buys and sticks in the jump bags.

Now my wife has the "Master cardiology black edition" That when purchased was over $200

She is a medic, and is nuts about being able to hear every little thing.

Go to to get yours. You can get a free student kit with your litman.

02-06-2005, 14:42
Thanks, everyone, so I guess littman is the only way to go.
be sure to check for my other question that will be posted shortly.

02-06-2005, 15:02
Littman Cardio for me.

02-06-2005, 17:58
Littman is Good but don't put the farm in hock to get the best of the best. Stay w/in your affordable range. If you plan to go beyond EMT then go up 1 notch over what you think you need now.

FYI - we have Littmans in our jump kits & I bought my g/f a Littman for Medic School. One of these days I'm going to get around to buying one for myself too (gotta stop buying gun stuff first *L*)

02-06-2005, 23:31
I agree with everyone about going littman. The only thing that I can complain about them is the fact that sometimes they are too sensitive. I have had people tell me that they have been able to hear the cells breaking down glucose in the right pinky finger when you are trying to hear a BP in the left arm.

The only other advise I could give you is try out some and buy the one that you life (if you can afford it).:cool:

02-07-2005, 16:58
Mrs. TVOV here. I work in a busy emergency department and for years swore by my (very expensive) Littman Master Cardiology. Then one day I laid it on a counter and it walked. Not having that kind of money to replace it, I got a Maxiscope by Ultrascope. I am very impressed with it. I can hear wonderfully regardless of the noise in the ED. It also had the added advantage of coming in screaming orange that will be very hard for anyone to 'accidentally' appropriate as theirs.(it also comes in other, more normal colors)

02-07-2005, 17:06
P.S. Mrs. Tvov wanted me to add that she forget to say that it was around $40.

02-07-2005, 20:41
My Littman took a walk without me several years ago. I have been using some cheapy thing for the last maybe ten years or so. I would never spend a wad of cash on a Littman again. The cheapy does the job just fine for me.

02-07-2005, 23:10
Litmann's are the best you can get, that's pretty much undebatable for most people. However, it may not necessarily be the best one to get for certain situations.

If you're prone to loosing/breaking things, a Littmann is probably not your best choice due to costs. If all you're doing is BPs and minor breathing, then you can get by without one.

I carried a double-tube sprague style one for many years that I bought in a kit while in EMT school. It worked great and was virtually indestructible, plus it included a cuff for around $30. We used the exact same stethoscope's on our Ambulances for that reason (indestructibility). Unfortunately mine was stolen (by Boy Scouts!...long story), else I'd still have it and she'd be almost 9 years old now.

When I was in medic school (around 02), I bought a Littmann Select and was very happy with it. It's in my POV jump-kit now. I am very careful with it just 'feels' more delicate than the sprague's. I'd recommend this one for anyone doing field work as well as the slightly more expensive Classic II's (if you need a dual-bell). I was going to buy a Classic II, but procrastinated and ran out of time to run down to Galls in Lexington. Wound up paying $60 at a local pharmacy for the Select because they were out of Classic II's. Only difference I can tell is the lack of a double-bell, which I'm starting to prefer now.

The Cardiology III and Master Cardiology models are great for quiet in a hospital...but in the back of the bus running down the highway they're not any better than the Select or Classic II's. You'll just hear every bump, vibration, expansion-joint, and pot hole that much better.

Best bet...try them out and use what works best for yourself given the costs and conditions.

Double Tube Sprague (*******EM264&cat=54) $10.99
Double Tube Sprague & BP Cuff (*******DD007&cat=49[/url) $29.99
Littmann Select (*******DD020&cat=54) $49.99
Littmann Classic II (*******DD020&cat=54) $69.99
Littmann Master Classic (*******DD020&cat=54) $99.99
Littmann Cardiology III (*******DD805&cat=54) $169.99
Littmann Master Cardiology (*******DD799&cat=54) $169.99

02-08-2005, 13:15
Originally posted by DepChief
Check your right ear, it might be there!

Speak up, I can't hear you!

02-10-2005, 15:26
Thanks to every one who replied, took some time to think it over "aka... run it by the wife" and decided to go with the clasic II, it looks to be the middle of the road as far as price and value, preformance. and since i look to start EMT-I next fall or spring I figured I would get a good scope.

Thanks again to everyone that helped out.


02-15-2005, 18:12
I have the Littman 4000 shown here.

Frankly, it was overkill for my purposes and I somewhat regret its purchase (lots of $). It is really too expensive to leave laying around, risk leaving at scene, stepping on, or walking off. I went electronic because I have some hearing loss (too much time driving tractors and shooting guns without earmuffs) and just couldn't hear with a non-electronic one well enough to be confident for blood pressures or lung sounds. My nurses, who don't have hearing loss, were very impressed by it.

02-17-2005, 00:37
You might also look at DRG (Doctors' Research Group) stethoscopes. High quality (and expensive)scopes as well.

02-18-2005, 15:58
I have used and never had a problem with the Sprague type stethoscope. I just cut 2-3 inches off and at $10.00 it is virtually disposable. I know several medics who have spent small fortunes and cried when theirs were lost, stolen or damaged.

02-19-2005, 11:30
I guess I'd ask whether you have a job lined up and where you'll be working. If you are with a volunteer service they are much more likely to have decent stethescopes and you won't have your own with you anyway. If you are working for a full-time service I'd ask whether you have aspirations to do anything other than check BP and some lung sounds. If that is all you plan to do (eg: no nursing school in your future) than use the crapola scopes in your trauma bag and save the pain when you lose yours. Even then, wait until you start school and you'll be able to get deals through school.

In a nutshell, I wouldn't bother getting your own scope.

If you are bound and determined, I've had a couple different Littman scopes and used lots of others. I'm happiest with the one I have now. A well used Cardiology II SE. I don't think they make it anymore so if I had to replace it, I'd get a Cardiology III. I put a peds adaptor on my bell and it works like a charm.

I'm sure you pay for name. If you have access to some other scopes, I'd sniff around. I'll bet you can find a much less-expensive scope that works just as well for you.

FYI, search online for the cheapest prices.


Stop CPR
02-19-2005, 11:59
I use a custom molded hard ear piece which fits in my right ear. I had one made at the local hearing-aid shop for $25.00. I use a 24" length of suction tubing attached to a stethascope bell. It stays in my ear, lets me hear what people are saying while I take their VS and provides excellent sound connection. Anesthesia people use them in the OR all the time.

02-24-2005, 18:26
i agree litman is great, my work uses them and supplies some, my own is a litman select, single sided. It is rather inexpensive (45) and can keep up with any other in terms of field use. also its pretty durable.

03-09-2005, 02:16
I agree on Littman being great. I have a Cardiology II that ive had since 93, but i recently bought a Magna Fortis cardioscope and its IMHO every bit as good as my Littman, and it costs 70.00 with a lifetime warranty. Accoustics are great as well.

Just a thought

03-19-2005, 17:49
Littman Master Cardiology is my preferred scop if I couldnt get that Magan Fortis makes some very nice scopes

06-15-2005, 09:56
I've had a Littmann Classic II since I was a kid. Still going strong. I don't care for the Littmann nametags though. ;g

Man...that all black Littmann Master Cardiology sure is looking nice. :cool: Too bad they don't make the Cardiology III in all black.

06-15-2005, 20:33
This is the chea[est place to get something like that from.

I use an ADScope & never had a problem w/ it.

Thru & Thru
06-20-2005, 13:31
AV little advise from a "Geezer"....
1. Get a Littman - One of the finest stethescopes on the market!
2. Use it on ANYONE who will let you.
3. Listen to all quadrants.
4. Listen to the valves - learn!
5. Listen to the carotids.
Learn, Learn, Learn.....