Parts of Stethoscope And Their Functions

Stethoscope Medical Device


Stethoscopes are a vital tool or medical instrument for listening to sounds produced within the body, chiefly in the heart sound, breathing, lungs, or abdomen.

The stethoscope medical device is used for auscultation or listening to the internal sounds of the body, listening to the sounds made by the heart, lungs, intestines, and blood flow in arteries and veins.

A stethoscope device is also used with a manual sphygmomanometer to measure blood pressure.

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Parts of Stethoscope and Functions


A medical stethoscope has three main parts as; an earpiece, a tube, and a chest piece.


A stethoscope is made up of chestpiece, diaphragm and/or bell, stem, tubing, headset, ear tubes, and ear tips.

Parts of Stethoscope

1. Chestpiece: Head of the stethoscope

The chest piece is known as the head of the stethoscope. The chest piece/ head of the stethoscope has a connected stem, diaphragm, and/or bell.

The chest piece part of the stethoscope is placed on the patient's skin and is responsible for conducting sound.  


2. Diaphragm


The diaphragm of the stethoscope is the large circular end of the chest piece.

The diaphragm of the device allows listening to an area of the patient’s body and picks up higher frequency sounds.


3. Bell


The bell of the stethoscope is the smaller circular end of the chest piece.

Bell side of the device focuses on a narrower range of listens for lower-frequency sounds that may not easily be detected by the diaphragm.


The bell of the stethoscope is most effective at transmitting lower frequency sounds, while the diaphragm of the stethoscope is most effective at transmitting higher frequency sounds.


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4. Stem


The stem of a stethoscope is basically the metal /steel part of the stethoscope that connects the tubing of the stethoscope to the chest piece.

On stethoscopes with two-sided chest pieces, the stem of the device allows users to switch between the diaphragm and bell by turning the chest piece.

By rotating the stem, the diaphragm is open to the acoustic path of relating to the sound of an organ/ body.


5. Tubing


The soft flexible line of the stethoscope is known as stethoscope tubing.

The function of the tubing of the device is to maintain and transfer the frequency or sound level, that is captured by the diaphragm or bell and sent it to the ear tubes.

Stethoscope tubing connects to the metal/steel ear tubes.



6. Headset, Eartubes, and Eartips


The headset is the combined components of the upper half of the stethoscope which include the ear tubes, tension springs, and Earpieces.

The headset of a stethoscope has two ear tubes.

Earpieces consist of small round tips on the ends of the ear tubes that fit into the ears.

Earpieces of the device allow sound to flow efficiently into the ear canal.  




Types of Stethoscope


Following are different types of stethoscopes -


1. Acoustic Stethoscopes


Acoustic stethoscopes contain two ear tubes, which are connected to a chest piece and work through the transmission of sound.

The chest piece transmits sounds of organs through both the ear tubes.


2. Electronic Stethoscope


Electronic stethoscopes categories are –


a. Amplifying stethoscope


Amplified stethoscopes refer to battery-operated, electronic stethoscopes specifically designed to amplify body sounds.


 b. Digitizing stethoscope


The digital stethoscope is able to convert an acoustic sound to electronic signals/ digital signals, later which can be amplified for optimal listening.


3. Recording Stethoscope


Recording Stethoscope is enabling to record heart sounds or lung sounds.


4. Fetal Stethoscope


The fetal stethoscope is used for fetus, it is an acoustic stethoscope that is used to listen to the sounds of the fetus.


5. Doppler Stethoscope


Doppler stethoscopes are used to measure the Doppler effect of ultrasound waves reflected from the various parts of the body.

This stethoscope device detects the motion of parts by detecting the change in frequencies.


For example,

The beating of the heart

Flow of blood


6. Disposable Stethoscope


A disposable Stethoscope is used for a single-patient stethoscope. It is a recommended isolation patient, used in infection control locations, burn units, and PPE environments.


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Use of Stethoscope


A stethoscope can be used to listen to the sounds of a body organ. Such as sound made by the heart, lungs, intestines, and blood flow in arteries and veins.

In combination with a manual sphygmomanometer, the stethoscope is used for measuring blood pressure.


Check out here parts of Sphygmomanometer.  


Stethoscopes work by, sounds move through the stethoscope tubing and into the ear tubes, where the health professionals hear the patient's heartbeat, lung, and abdominal sounds.


Major Use of Stethoscope


The major use of stethoscope is-


1. To determine lung sounds

2. To detect heart sounds

3. Bowel sounds can be measured

4. Used to calculate blood pressure

5. Used to blood flow in arteries and vein


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