Okay, as an old paramedic and supply manager, I have to say the spragues are your best bet!! I got tired of all the abuse the expensive ones took (ie the fire department leaving them out in a field somewhere, employees cramming them into the bottom of the jump kit) and just went to the spragues. We could all hear EVERYTHING, even in the ambulance, even with the sirens on. Never had a lick of trouble. Three tips, though...
1. The longer the tubing, the more difficult it is to hear. Yes, the shorter ones will put you much closer to the patient, which sometimes is not a pleasant experience, but there you have it.
2. DO NOT go super cheap! Those flimsy ones that the tubing looks like a straw are a waste of time and $15.00. The Spragues have the really thick tubing, and are less than $30.00.
3. If you are going to work with neonates and infants, go ahead and get the Littman for peds. It has a teeny little diaphragm that makes it easier to hear each of the heart sounds. A regular stethoscope covers the babies entire chest!
Isn't shopping fun? I am just buying scrubs
like a madwoman!