MDF Sprague-X Stethoscope

  1. I know it's a long shot, but has anybody used the MDF Sprague-X stethoscope?

    Robot Check (this is a link to the Amazon page, not spam--every time I link to Amazon on AN it autocorrects the link title to 'Robot Check'...)

    I'm starting a new job in the peds cardiac ICU, and need to purchase my own scope for the first time (I have usually used patient-specific Littmann Infant scopes in NICU). I'd love to get a quality scope with a pediatric diaphragm (i.e. a Littmann Cardiology IV or ADC Procardial) so that I can become more proficient at recognizing hearing heart sounds in case I ever want to become an NP; however, I want to hold off on choosing a model until I have the chance to actually listen with them and feel them (i.e. size, weight, tubing stiffness).

    Once I start on the unit, I'm hoping I can borrow my coworkers' scopes for a minute to compare the sound quality between models (and obviously give them right back!) In the meantime, I need a pedi scope of my own; this one is <$40, so I'm wondering if it would be an appropriate stand-in or totally useless.

    Any and all input appreciated!
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    About adventure_rn, BSN

    Joined: Jun '15; Posts: 882; Likes: 2,433

    9 Comments

  3. by   PeakRN
    I've tried it, it is better than most of the sprague imitations but I still think there are much better stethoscope designs.

    My personal favorite is a Harvey DLX with a bell and pediatric diaphragm, I would keep an eye out on ebay as you can get one pretty cheap from a med school dropout but they are still fairly pricey.

    In my opinion the important thing is to have a true bell and diaphram, not any of the pressure adjustable stuff. They work well for most patients but for cardiac kids I really want to be able to discern murmurs and rubs that just don't get conducted well through a diaphragm. I would avoid anything marketed as light weight, they seems to also not be great and transmitting those low frequency tones.

    Beyond that I think that the ADC 603/604 is a great value and perfectly adequate as a stethoscope, they are what I used to use when I worked in the fire service (they worked well and were cheap enough that I didn't care that much if they were stolen). Most of the PNP-ACs that I worked with used a littmann classic II pediatric, which is basically the more expensive and slightly nicer quality (though in my opinion about the same for auscultation) version of the 604. Very few used 'cardiac' stethoscopes, with a thin chest wall they just are not as necessary as in adults.
  4. by   adventure_rn
    Quote from PeakRN
    I've tried it, it is better than most of the sprague imitations but I still think there are much better stethoscope designs.

    My personal favorite is a Harvey DLX with a bell and pediatric diaphragm, I would keep an eye out on ebay as you can get one pretty cheap from a med school dropout but they are still fairly pricey.

    In my opinion the important thing is to have a true bell and diaphram, not any of the pressure adjustable stuff. They work well for most patients but for cardiac kids I really want to be able to discern murmurs and rubs that just don't get conducted well through a diaphragm. I would avoid anything marketed as light weight, they seems to also not be great and transmitting those low frequency tones.

    Beyond that I think that the ADC 603/604 is a great value and perfectly adequate as a stethoscope, they are what I used to use when I worked in the fire service (they worked well and were cheap enough that I didn't care that much if they were stolen). Most of the PNP-ACs that I worked with used a littmann classic II pediatric, which is basically the more expensive and slightly nicer quality (though in my opinion about the same for auscultation) version of the 604. Very few used 'cardiac' stethoscopes, with a thin chest wall they just are not as necessary as in adults.
    THANK YOU! This is exactly the insight that I neded.
  5. by   adventure_rn
    Peak, I'm hoping to pick your brain again (or the brain of anybody else who is willing to share)!

    I read on Student Doctor Network that pediatric residents recommend the Harvey Elite over the DLX since the Elite has a non-chill rim and isn't as heavy (plus it's a little more comfortable to use), even though the sound quality isn't quite as high as the DLX. Do you have any thoughts on the Elite vs DLX?

    I'm also curious if you know anything about the MDF Procardial? It is a dual-lumen cardiac stethoscope with dedicated adult, pediatric, and infant heads and bells. I like the idea of having a dual-lumen cardiac stethoscope with an infant head and bell, but I don't know how the sound quality compares to competitors.

    Buy MDF Instruments MDF797CC ProCardial(R) C3 Titanium Dual Head Cardiology Stethoscope with Adult, Pediatric, and Infant-Neonatal convertible chestpiece | Free Parts for Life

    Thanks again!
  6. by   PeakRN
    I've used the DLX and the elite, the DLX definitely has a a better sound quality. The elite is a bit lighter, but not enough to make a real difference (they are both on the heavy end of stethoscopes). The non-chill rim isn't a huge piece of my decision making, you can always warm it up in the palm of your hand while talking to the patient. I didn't find any other difference in comfort, some of the older DLX models have slick tubing, but when the elite came out both models now come with the new tubing (which is less slippery and soaks up less of the skin oils from wearing it around your neck).

    I haven't played with the procardia, but most of the MDF stethoscopes I have used seemed over built without any needed or appreciable increase in quality. I wouldn't worry about having an adult/pediatric/infant bell, a good bell tends to work well regardless of patient age. I do think having a pediatric diaphragm helps quite a bit in localizing high frequency tones.
  7. by   adventure_rn
    Quote from PeakRN
    I've used the DLX and the elite, the DLX definitely has a a better sound quality. The elite is a bit lighter, but not enough to make a real difference (they are both on the heavy end of stethoscopes). The non-chill rim isn't a huge piece of my decision making, you can always warm it up in the palm of your hand while talking to the patient. I didn't find any other difference in comfort, some of the older DLX models have slick tubing, but when the elite came out both models now come with the new tubing (which is less slippery and soaks up less of the skin oils from wearing it around your neck).

    I haven't played with the procardia, but most of the MDF stethoscopes I have used seemed over built without any needed or appreciable increase in quality. I wouldn't worry about having an adult/pediatric/infant bell, a good bell tends to work well regardless of patient age. I do think having a pediatric diaphragm helps quite a bit in localizing high frequency tones.
    Peak, thank you so much!! I wish I could give you 10 likes!

    So far one of the best deals I've found (besides EBay) for WAs is on Steeles.com. They are very reasonably priced, especially if you're affiliated with an academic medical center.
  8. by   adventure_rn
    Quote from PeakRN
    I've used the DLX and the elite, the DLX definitely has a a better sound quality. The elite is a bit lighter, but not enough to make a real difference (they are both on the heavy end of stethoscopes). The non-chill rim isn't a huge piece of my decision making, you can always warm it up in the palm of your hand while talking to the patient. I didn't find any other difference in comfort, some of the older DLX models have slick tubing, but when the elite came out both models now come with the new tubing (which is less slippery and soaks up less of the skin oils from wearing it around your neck).

    I haven't played with the procardia, but most of the MDF stethoscopes I have used seemed over built without any needed or appreciable increase in quality. I wouldn't worry about having an adult/pediatric/infant bell, a good bell tends to work well regardless of patient age. I do think having a pediatric diaphragm helps quite a bit in localizing high frequency tones.
    Peak! I just got my Welch Allyn, and I'm so stoked!! I got some very good prices from Steeles.com; the student kits are discounted and include the pediatric attachment, which is just what I needed. I went the pricier route and ordered both the DLX and Elite so I could try them both out in person and return the one I liked the least; the Elite is nice, but I'm definitely sending it back and keeping the DLX.

    You were totally right, the DLX is amazing. The sound quality is insane, and I love the fact that I can take off the bell and attach the pediatric and adult diaphragms simultaneously if needed (kind of like the Littmann Cardiology). When I replaced the adult diaphragm with the pediatric one the whole thing was even lighter than I expected, maybe even lighter than the Elite. I'm amazed by how flexible the tubing is (enough to tie it in a knot). My only issue was trying to remove the corrugated diaphragm from the pediatric attachment to replace it with a flat diaphragm; the metal rim was screwed on so tight that I had to go at it with a pair of rubber-tipped pliers to get it off.

    Anyway, I'm so grateful for your help!! If it weren't for your advice, I probably would have gone with a cheaper, worse-quality stethoscope. I really appreciate that you took the time to respond! Thanks a million!
  9. by   sallyrnrrt
    I remember using the Harvey triple head....great scope,

    Just don't have it draped around you neck, doing code compressions....heck of a chin bruise,


    And dog gone good protection device, if you get accounted in the parking lot (( grins))
  10. by   sallyrnrrt
    In the late 70's, when I worked in Wash.DC, because Dr.Proctor Harvey was at Georgetown ' almost every one used them......

    Would you like to know the cost of the Tripple Head,Harvey , from the medical school supply store ($34.95).......yep that was the price......
  11. by   adventure_rn
    Quote from sallyrnrrt
    Would you like to know the cost of the Tripple Head,Harvey , from the medical school supply store ($34.95).......yep that was the price......
    Oh Sally, that's wild (since now it's at least 10x that much). While I was researching which brand I wanted, I read on Student Doctor Network that the Georgetown med students get a Triple Head included with their tuition. Apparently, most of them ditch it for a Littmann Cardiology or Master Cardiology, which is unfortunate (although the Triple does sound a bit cumbersome); I'm guessing that nowadays one might still be able to convince a Georgetown med student to sell their gently used Triple Head for around that same price.

    Quote from sallyrnrrt
    And dog gone good protection device, if you get accounted in the parking lot (( grins))
    Not going to lie, that comment made me laugh out loud at the thought of my Harvey and I channeling our inner Bruce Lee.

    tumblr_n4057bgmra1qedb29o1_500-gif

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