You’ve worn your trusty stethoscope, let’s assume a littmann, around your neck for years. However one morning you notice something upsetting. Your littmann stethoscope tubing cracked! Furiously you think of all the treatments you have used in order to prevent this from happening. Apparently all in vane.
What do you do now? where do you go and who do you call? Ghostbusters? I doubt it.. .
There are some very common reasons as to why this happens. And luckily we’ll go through them in a second. Let’s take a look at why this happens.
Why does tubing crack?
One of the main reasons why the tubing on your stethoscope has cracked is probably because you profusely wipe rubbing alcohol onto it. Just as your hands might crack when you wash it too often, so does the tubing on your stethoscope. The alcohol in the cleaning agent gently eats away at the rubber tubing, leaving it frail and vulnerable.
A good rule of thumb when to clean your stethoscope is to use “Armor All” about once a month for a thorough clean.
You wear your Littmann around your neck!
It looks really cool and it makes you look like a real doctor. I know. Not to mention the ease of just “whipping” out your stethoscope at the sight of a patient. It’s really easy to wear your stethoscope around your neck. However the not-so-nice result is that eventually your tubing will crack. Just because you wear it around your neck.
Well.. the oils coming from your skin and hair follicles have a detrimental effect on the rubber tubing of your stethoscope. And that is probably why your littmann stethoscope tubing cracked!
The solution is fairly simple. Keep your stethoscope in your front-pocket. Just as easy to “whip” out, but might not look as cool.
How to prevent your tubing from cracking?
As mentioned above just make sure that if you wear your stethoscope around your neck, it doesn’t touch your skin. You can have it curl up and under your collar for extra protection.
Additionally it might make sense to keep the use of rubbing alcohol to a minimum. The rubbing alcohol eats away at the rubber tubing and slowly disintegrates it.
Lastly about once a month treat the tubing with “Armor All“-rubber protectant. It is traditionally used in cars to protect the dashboard from wear and tear, however it works wonders for your tubing!
What to do when the tubing has cracked?
So the worst has happened and the tubing HAS cracked. What can you do now?
If you have a littmann, as I’m sure most of you do, they actually offer a full refurbishing service. Don’t rush out and go get a new one, get it refurbished instead. Send it to 3M and they’ll take care of it. The total cost for you will be around $60 so it’s nothing to be too concerned about. And hey, in return you get a stethoscope that looks just like new!
Go to 3M’S website for more details: http://www.3m.com/services or call them at: 800-426-8688 and press #2