Needed: High Endurance Stethoscope for Rigors of Wilderness
July 29, 2006 2:13 AM   Subscribe

I need an ultra-high quality stethoscope that can endure the rigors of third-world country medical usage.

I local church charity is sending a bunch of items to a Cambodian doctor and one thing he needs is a stethoscope. Can anyone recommend a really good one, irrespective of price range, that is known to be able to stand up to potentially harsh weather conditions, lengthy exposure to sunlight without cracking, and the like?
posted by vanoakenfold to Health & Fitness (4 answers total)
Have you considered a number of cheap stethoscopes instead? If they are that hard to come by he might need some for his nurses/assistants or to barter with others for supplies. I got a bunch of these stethoscopes for about $5.00 each to use in our OR. They are not as good as a $160 Littman Cardiology stethoscope, but are just fine for general use; plus you can get about 25 of them for the price of the more expensive stethoscope. Stethoscopes in general are pretty durable and are pretty simple, so even a cheap one should last for years even in a fairly harsh environment. As you mentioned the part most likely to degrade is the tubing, but that is easily replaced with any similar sized tubing if needed.

A little Googling will turn up a number of similarly priced alternatives. My only other advice is to go with a dual head model for a little more usability even if they are more expensive.
posted by TedW at 5:57 AM on July 29, 2006 [1 favorite]

I agree that you would be better off with cheap stethoscopes. I absolutely love the Lumiscope Sprague Rappaport, it sounds great, and is only $17 at Amazon.
posted by roofus at 4:20 PM on July 29, 2006

Best answer: My Littmann Classic II S.E. has withstood plenty of abuse and is pretty affordable. I'd recommend it!
posted by blaneyphoto at 5:32 PM on July 29, 2006

Response by poster: A higher priced stethoscope like the sort blaney mentions sounds better because it's more expensive, but at the same time I'd like to get a great scope for a good deal. Looks like about the best I can find from those mentioned is indeed the Littmann Classic II SE's is for around $60. It has a 3-year mfgr warranty, whereas the cheapies are less likely to offer such an endurance guarantee, as far as I've found. It's highly unlikely that he'd be sending it back in for guaranteed repair, but knowing the company is that confident to offer it for that long is promising enough :-)

posted by vanoakenfold at 6:58 AM on July 30, 2006

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