3M™ is the market-leading stethoscope manufacturer and they are renowned for their professional quality Littmann® Stethoscopes. If you have just treated yourself to a brand new 3M™ Littmann® stethoscope or bought your first stethoscope for Medical School, naturally you expect it to last you many years.
Unfortunately, at Medisave we often speak to customers who have damaged their stethoscope due to incorrect cleaning or care procedures, the most frequent damages being splitting or hard binaural tubing, discoloration, and lost diaphragms and eartips. We have created this guide to assist you in practicing the correct cleaning and care procedures. This should help you to keep your stethoscope in pristine condition and extend its lifespan. To prevent cross-contamination we recommend cleaning your stethoscope between patients. Here are our top tips for a clean and pristine stethoscope. To help you remember this we have created the acronym CLEAN:
- Clean diaphragms with alcohol wipes (with 70% isopropyl alcohol solution, with or without CHG) or soapy water (Please note that you should remove the diaphragm before cleaning if you are using soapy water)
- Leave a collar between your bare neck and your stethoscope when possible
- Eartips can be removed for a thorough clean – push these back on firmly
- Alcohol solution or wipes should be used to disinfect your tubing and chestpiece
- Never soak your stethoscope in any liquid
Littmann™ Stethoscope parts fit perfectly to give you the excellent acoustic performance that they are renowned for, so when it comes to fitting or removing parts it can require some pressure.Cleaning Your Chestpiece
Please note – your stethoscope should be turned off before you begin cleaning the chestpiece and diaphragm. It is not necessary to remove the diaphragm for cleaning, however, you can do this if required. Hold the chestpiece with the diaphragm facing you, you can then use your thumbnail to lift the diaphragm out of the rim and remove it. You can insert a swab or the edge of an alcohol wipe (this must contain at least 70% isopropyl solution) around the rim slot where the diaphragm sits. With a new wipe you can then thoroughly clean the rest of the chest piece. Never submerge your stethoscope in liquid, as this may lead to fluid or moisture in the components of the chestpiece which can cause it to become faulty.