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The Cardiology IV is Here!

The new Cardiology IV stethoscope from Littmann sets an entirely new standard in auscultation. It’s now available to buy through Medisave US!

The all new Cardiology IV offers superior acoustic performance, this latest model is ideal for medical students, MDs, respiratory specialists, EMTs, child specialists and cardiologists. It’s the product of 30 + years of specific cardiology model development by the 3M Littmann team, who have been producing industry leading stethoscopes for nearly five decades’ now.

The Littmann Cardiology IV offers an entirely redesigned bell with a new, single-piece tuneable diaphragm, specifically designed for the Cardiology IV. This offers high acoustic sensitivity, allowing the user to switch from high frequency, to low frequency sounds by simply adjusting the pressure applied to the chestpiece. In addition to offering superior acoustics, the redesign makes for a smoother, crevice-free surface, making it easier to keep clean and decontaminate.

The Littmann Cardiology III has been the stethoscope of choice for many medical practitioners for years. Its successor, the Littmann Cardiology IV, looks set to command even greater respect from medical professionals, raising the bar yet further!

Cardiology IV Stethoscope in Caribbean Blue
Cardiology IV Stethoscope in Caribbean Blue

Features of the new Littmann Cardiology IV stethoscope

  • Entirely redesigned bell for maximum acoustic sensitivity.
  • Single piece dual tuneable diaphragm, making them easier to replace, decontaminate and clean.
  • Chestpiece orientation indicator, giving an immediate visual as to whether it’s in adult or pediatric diaphragm operation.
  • Non-chill bell sleeve to allow pediatric side to be changed into a traditional bell.
  • Littmann performance rating of 9 out of 10.
  • Available in a wide variety of colors and a 22” black version (6151).
  • The latest generation of binaural tubing, longer life and highly durable!
  • 7-year manufacturer backed warranty including free repair for any defects in manufacturing or material.

Buy your new stethoscope from us and you can choose to personalize with a laser engraving of your choice!

Win yourself a new Littmann Cardiology IV!

We’re giving you the chance to be one of the first medical professionals to get their hands on this new stethoscope, through a simple draw being run through Facebook.

Watch out for counterfeit Littmanns

Whatever model of Littmann stethoscope you buy, make sure that you purchase it from a Littmann Authorized Distributor to be certain of receiving a genuine Littmann product.

We have encountered a number of fake Littmann stethoscopes, typically purchased at bargain prices from auction sites. To other than an expert eye, one of these stethoscopes will likely look real, complete with branded box, Littmann chestpiece logo and fake serial number.

Counterfeit stethoscopes may not provide the same outstanding acoustic quality and range of a genuine Littmann brand product and could compromise clinical diagnosis. Click here for more details.

The invention of the stethoscope

This year is the two hundredth anniversary of the invention of the stethoscope. Incredibly, today’s symbol of medical professionalism began life as a sheet of paper used to protect a young lady’s modesty.

Two hundred years ago, medicine was practised very differently from today. While many doctors enjoyed some formal education, their knowledge of human physiology was decidedly patchy. Anatomy was perhaps a little better understood, particularly where there was access to cadavers for study.

In part, development of most branches of medicine was also held back by social attitudes and conventions. Today there may still be a moment of awkward embarrassment when discussing some aspects of the body with a patient. Two hundred years ago, the importance attached to privacy could prevent physicians making proper examinations.

Plaque at Hopital Necker commemorating Laennec's discovery. Luca Borghi, Wikimedia
Plaque at Hopital Necker commemorating Laennec’s discovery. Luca Borghi, Wikimedia

Modesty prompts medical innovation

In 1816, a 35 year old French doctor, René Laennec, was presented with what he later described as an overweight young lady with ‘general symptoms of diseased heart’. Laennec had recently been appointed chief physician at Hôpital Necker, in Paris.

His medical training had included using the sounds of the body as a diagnostic method. However, in this case, the ‘age and sex of the patient’, along with her ‘great degree of fatness’ made the usual practice of putting the ear to the patient’s chest both inappropriate and ineffective.

Three years later he wrote down what happened next. “I happened to recollect a simple and well-known fact in acoustics… the great distinctness with which we hear the scratch of a pin at one end of a piece of wood on applying our ear to the other. Immediately, on this suggestion, I rolled a quire of paper into a kind of cylinder and applied one end of it to the region of the heart and the other to my ear, and was not a little surprised and pleased to find that I could thereby perceive the action of the heart in a manner much more clear and distinct than I had ever been able to do by the immediate application of my ear.”

With that flash of inspiration, the principle of auscultation was established.

From quire of paper to medical instrument

Laennec didn’t continue using rolls of paper as part of his diagnostic technique for very long. Believing his discovery to be a significant advance in medical practice, he dedicated a huge amount of time to developing his new technique for diagnosis.

He experimented with different materials to discover which would be most suitable for a more robust device. Glass and metal were rejected, along with a lightweight funnel made from goldbeater’s skin – animal membrane used to create a fine parchment.

Laennec’s first satisfactory instrument, which he called a stethoscope, was a wooden cylinder about 30cm long and hollowed out into a funnel shape. He was very particular about the dimensions, having established these as giving the best results.

You can see Laennec’s original stethoscope in the Science Museum, London.

Laennec’s original stethscope. The Science Museum, London

The stethoscope provokes ridicule and resistance

As with so many innovations, not everyone immediately recognised the potential of the stethoscope.

In 1818, Laennec introduced his discovery to the French medical establishment by giving a talk at the Academy of Sciences. The following year he published details of the stethoscope and its role in diagnosis in his book ‘De l’auscultation médiate’.

Some distrusted the notion of using a tube to improve diagnosis, while others openly mocked it. Had his book focused entirely on the instrument, it may have been overlooked, but it also included detailed and valuable descriptions of diseases of the chest. Laennec documented details of specific cases, describing the symptoms observed in a patient and his subsequent findings during dissection after death.

Younger members of the medical profession in Paris responded more positively to Laennec’s ideas about using a stethoscope. Their enthusiasm helped spread the word across Europe over the next few years.

The sad fate of the inventor of the stethoscope

Having spent some years away from Paris, writing his book, Laennec returned in 1821 to continue his work at Hôpital Necker. He was soon appointed Chair of Medicine in the College of France and then Professor of Clinical Medicine.

While he lectured and wrote, medical practitioners from across Europe came to Paris in order to learn about the stethoscope and to meet its creator.

Laennec had never enjoyed good health and in early 1826 his condition deteriorated. In an ironic twist, the inventor of the stethoscope, one of modern medicine’s most valued tools, was subjected to medieval medical treatments including bloodletting. He died of tuberculosis on 13 August 1826.

Combat counterfeits with the Authorized Littmann Stethoscope Distributor Programme

Counterfeit stethoscopes may compromise clinical diagnosis warns global manufacturer 3M. An extended distributor registration programme across West Europe guarantees the validity of your Littmann stethoscope purchase.

As a medical professional, you need your tools of the trade to perform to the highest standards – and that’s why you choose a Littmann brand stethoscope from 3M, synonymous with acoustic excellence. But do you take the same care about where you purchase your Littmann stethoscope from?

A convincing counterfeit stethoscope with a fake serial number.
A convincing counterfeit stethoscope with a fake serial number.

The Internet abounds with auction sites offering Littmann stethoscopes at bargain prices – often at 30 to 40 per cent lower than the recommended retail price.  The seller may also advertise high volumes of available stock.  But whilst everybody likes a bargain, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  Some offerings may also get close to the retail price and further fool you into thinking you are getting a genuine product.

Counterfeit stethoscopes are becoming more sophisticated and closer in appearance to the genuine article. To other than an expert eye, the stethoscope will likely look real, with a branded box, current colour of tubing, Littmann chestpiece logo, soft-sealing ear tips and product information leaflet. It may also carry a lot number, serial number and fake CE mark as well. But what about its performance?

“Counterfeit stethoscopes may not provide the same outstanding acoustic quality and range of a genuine Littmann brand product,” says Jonathan Neachell, 3M West Europe business manager. “This could compromise your clinical diagnosis of a patient by being unable to hear the full spectrum of body sounds and at the right volume. Counterfeit stethoscopes may also be made with substandard materials or lack key features of a genuine Littmann stethoscope,” he adds.

Always purchase your Littmann stethoscope from a site that bears this logo.

So how do you ensure that your Littmann stethoscope is genuine? By always purchasing from a business site that carries the ‘Authorized 3M Littmann Stethoscope Distributor’ logo. Now extended to 3M-appointed distributors across West Europe, the logo represents your assurance that you are buying a product that reflects many years of investment in auscultation innovation by 3M.

Combat counterfeits – always buy with confidence from an ‘Authorized 3M Littmann Stethoscope Distributor’. For further information, please visit www.littmann.com