How to care for & disinfect a stethoscope

Stethoscope is the most extensively used equipment in patient care, a good quality stethoscope with appropriate care can last a long time. How to take care of a stethoscope is one of the most frequently received query particularly in the wake of CoronaVirus pandemic, and health care professionals want to know how to clean/disinfect stethoscope after examining a patient.

Here are the recommendations from the top stethoscope manufacturers regarding the appropriate care.
For Disinfecting a stethoscope only use 70% isopropyl solution, the tubing, chest piece and the metal component all can be cleaned, don’t use any other disinfectant, even hand sanitizer because the additives can degrade tubing material.
The chest piece diaphragm and ear piece are mostly removable, to ensure thorough cleaning, use soapy water or 70% isopropyl solution only.
Don’t dip or expose your stethoscope in any sterilizing solution or process, it will get damaged.
In the latest stethoscopes the tubing material is resilient enough to resist skin oils or repeated folding, but it is still recommended to wear on collar and don’t store in folded position for prolonged time.
Don’t expose your stethoscope to direct sunlight or heat e.g placing it on your car’s dashboard will degrade its efficiency pretty quickly.
Following the above practices will help prolong the life of your stethoscope and keep it in optimum working condition.
Stay tuned for our next post on choosing the most appropriate stethoscope.
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