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How to clean Littman stethoscopes

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by sdnetrocks, Dec 13, 2005.

  1. sdnetrocks

    sdnetrocks Senior Member
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    Obviously, alcohol wipes can be used to "wipe" the chestpiece. But what about the rest of it?

    My tubing is all dusty, especially under the name badge. I imagine anything like auto-claving will destroy them, as will dunking them in water, cleaning solution, rubbing alcohol, etc...

    So what to do?
     
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  3. dynx

    dynx Yankee Imperialist
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    Holy crap. Are you really this f*cking helpless?
     
  4. dusty? you are worried about dust?

    Just wipe the outer surface with alcohol wipes. That's enough.
     
  5. Monika

    Monika PA-C
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    Yep. Get yourself some alcohol wipes & go to town. I usually carry a few in my coat pocket.
     
  6. njbmd

    njbmd Guest
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    Hi there,
    Get a soft brush such as those found impregnated with chlorhexidene (or povidine) in the OR at the scrub sink and scrub the crud off the entire scope. Then clean the tubing regularly with Armor All to keep it soft and pliable.

    The head piece should be wiped down periodically with a germicidal wipe (not alcohol which is useless) to keep the spread of bacteria in check.

    njbmd :)
     
  7. manleyjb

    manleyjb Junior Member
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    I can't believe this is an actual thread but here is my answer. The entire stethoscope can be wiped clean with alcohol or mild soapy water.
     
  8. Bobblehead

    Bobblehead Senior Member
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    Littman has instructions here: http://www.3m.com/us/healthcare/professionals/littmann/jhtml/cleaning_care.jhtml

    I've found that using alcohol or a mild household cleaner will take the grime off your stethoscope tubing pretty well. I immediately follow that up with 3 coats of armor-all to keep the tubing from cracking. You'll notice cracking first at any stress points: the head, where the ear piece connects and if you roll the stethoscope tubing up very tightly at the sharp bends.

    Keeping the tubing away from your skin is probably the best way to prolong the interval between needed cleanings. Dust won't really do any damage but the oil from your skin will make the tubing brittle.
     
  9. Entei

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    Why is the alcohol useless?
     
  10. loveumms

    loveumms Senior Member
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    That is hilarious that Littmann actually has instructions on how to clean the stethoscope - shouldn't really be that difficult to figure out.

    Word of caution - be careful taking the diaphragm off too many times. I have never taken mine off and I almost lost it b/c it fell off. One of my classmates acutally lost his and has to improvise with masking tape. Yes it works but I wouldn't recommend it b/c about the only thing you can hear is a 6/6 murmur. Both of ours were the Master Cardiology. You can only imagine how peaved I was - since I paid like $150 for it.
     
  11. Bobblehead

    Bobblehead Senior Member
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    Diaphrams are relatively cheap to replace. Pretty much all the parts of a Littman stethoscope can be replaced individually. See here for an example price list: http://www.steeles.com/catalog/3maccessories.html
     

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