- Cardiology, General

Dual vs Single Head Stethoscope

Doctors might be familiar with the difference between a dual head stethoscope from a single head one. By searching for pictures in different search engines, people cannot see the total discrepancy of one from another. No worries because this article will have a general breakdown of the two equipment’s difference, and how each of them functions to help the doctor in his/her work.

Well, physically, a dual head stethoscope has that back-to-back chest piece, while the single head one only has one head and has an edgy but not sharp ‘backbone’ on its other side.

Doctors actually go for the dual head equipment since it is very versatile. The larger side is the diaphragm mode. It is used by the doctor to measure heart sounds that have high frequencies, ideal for listening to the heartbeat irregularities. The smaller part is what we call the bell mode, which measures lung sounds that have low frequencies. This is ideal for listening to irregularities in breathing. The doctor rotates the heads to listen at a particular body sound. Examples of these include the Littman stethoscope, the MDF stethoscope and the Pediatric stethoscope.

The single head counterpart is designated to monitor heart sounds. Cardiology stethoscope is an example of this. Although it is not as versatile as its dual head equivalent, the single head equipment has a wider range of frequency, not to mention that it has a clearer sound.

Depending on the doctor’s field of medical study, he/she may opt for the Littman stethoscope, the pediatric stethoscope or even the MDF stethoscope if he/she has more things to observe. Meanwhile, having a cardiology stethoscope is ideal if the doctor would like to focus on just one area.