Department Blog

Posted 2/18/2015 by Linda Kesselring

Digital Stethoscope for Auscultation While Wearing PPE

Steven J. White, MD, MS, an attending physician in the ED at University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Easton, has published a letter titled "Auscultation Without Contamination: A Solution for Stethoscope Use With Personal Protective Equipment," in Annals of Emergency Medicine. He describes a configuration consisting of a digital stethoscope connected to a Bluetooth transmitter, which sends signals to bone-conduction headphones. This arrangement, tested by the author, enables physicians to auscultate heart and lung sounds, even from a distance, while leaving them free from the conversation impediments posed by earbuds. The setup can be helpful when a physician needs to don PPE to treat a patient with a transmittable infection and when an anxious patient or autistic child would find comfort in having a little distance from the examining physician. Dr. White's letter is available at this address: