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FAQs



For your convenience, we have categorised the questions into the following six categories:

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  • Common Questions
  • Electronic Stethoscopes
    • What is proprietary ANR Technology?
      • ANR (Ambient Noise Reduction) cancels out, on average, 85% of ambient background noise that can interfere with the ausculatation experience, without eliminating critcial body sounds. So you're much less likely to miss the sounds you need to hear in noisy work environments. A full 10% better than previous models.

    • What will happen when my battery is dead?
      • Sound quality remains constant even on low battery. The electronic stethoscope will not work without a battery.

    • How do I clean my Stethoscope?
      • Your Littmann stethoscope is designed to provide years of reliable service. We recommend following our cleaning and care guidelines to keep your Littmann stethoscope in optimum condition.

    • I am having trouble hearing anything when using the stethoscope…?
      • It is important that you are wearing the stethoscope in the proper orientation. All Littmann stethoscopes have headsets that are angled and are designed to fit properly with your ear canals.. When holding the stethoscope, be sure that the headset is pointed towards the ceiling and then when placing in your ears, be sure that the headset is pointed towards your nose. If the stethoscope is in its correct orientation, you can adjust the sound amplification by pressing the "+" and "-" buttons on the keypad. Also, it is important that the very center of the chestpiece is making good contact with the patient, as this is the location of the sound sensor. If you still cannot hear any sound, contact 3M Customer Support.

    • Can I get a replacement diaphragm for my Electronic Stethoscope?
      • Diaphragms can be ordered through the 3M Customer Service Centre or an authorised 3M dealer.

    • What is the warranty of Electronic Stethoscopes?
      • The warranty is 2 years.

    • I do not have a hearing deficit, why would I need an electronic stethoscope?
      • There are many heart and lung sounds that are difficult to hear and our studies show that this is often the case, even with normal hearing. Amplification with ambient noise reduction helps you hear what you need to hear. In addition, some electronic stethoscopes have the additional ability to record and play back auscultated sounds.

  • Mechanical Stethoscopes
  • Stethoscope Model 3100
    • What type of battery does the 3100 stethoscope use?
      • The stethoscope was designed to accommodate three battery types to fit your needs. Use one AA Alkaline, Lithium, or NiMH battery to operate your electronic stethoscope. The default battery type is Alkaline. Therefore, if using either a Lithium or NiMH battery, you must change the battery type within the setup menu of the electronic stethoscope for a reliable battery life indication on the display screen. The Lithium battery is a non-rechargeable cell that is recommended for low-temperature operation of the stethoscope and generally has a longer life than an Alkaline battery. The NIMH battery is a rechargeable battery (external charger required).

    • How long is the battery life? Can I do anything to extend it?
      • The Littmann Model 3100 battery will last for approximately 60 hours of continuous use. Before the battery is depleted completely, you will hear a warning tone that the battery has only two more hours of continuous use. The life of the battery is being conserved if you are seeing the Littmann logo. You are in standby mode. To enter active mode, tap on the diaphragm or push a button. To turn off the stethoscope, either do nothing (to enter standby mode after a length of time based on POWER setting) or push the power button for two seconds (preferred). There are several options to maximize battery life.

         

        1. Minimizing backlight display time will conserve battery life. Select Menu > BACKLITE and then select either DISABLE or ON DMND (on demand). DISABLE will completely disable the backlight at all times. With ON DMND, the backlight will only activate after pressing the power button. If you feel the backlight is necessary in order to read the display screen, simply select Menu > BACKLITE > ALWAYS. This will activate the backlight at half power to provide visual assistance, yet minmize power consumption.
        2. Ensuring the Auto On / Auto Off feature is enabled (should be by default) will preserve battery life. This feature can be customized to allow for different periods of time before entering standby mode. To optimize the battery life, select Menu > POWER > LOW. This will program the stethoscope to enter standby after 10 seconds of inactivity.
    • How durable is the stethoscope?
      • The Littmann Model 3100 was subjected to splash tests, drop tests, cleaning tests, button press tests and other rigorous testing to ensure it could withstand even the toughest conditions. The chestpiece's solid, cast-metal construction and durable chrome finish can stand up to years of wear and tear. The Littmann Model 3100 is validated to operate at -22°F to 104°F (-30°C to 40°C) and a relative humidity range of 15 - 93%.

    • Everytime I turn on the stethoscope, I have to change the amplification. Can I set a different default amplification level?
      • Yes. Select the amplification level you would like to set as default. Press the M button, then press the "-" button until SET VOL is selected, and then press the M button again. The default amplification has now been changed to the new level and is indicated by a small mark in the vertical line next to the volume bars.

    • Everytime I turn on the stethoscope, I have to change the filter type (Bell or Diaphragm). Can I set a different default filter type?
      • Yes. Select the filter type you would like to set as default. Press the M button, then press the "-" button until SET FLTR is selected, and then press the M button again. The default filter type has now been changed to the new selection.

    • Will the Littmann Model 3100 work on Infants and small children?
      • The Littmann Model 3100 was designed to auscultate people of all sizes, including infants and small children. The acoustic sensor is only the size of a small button or dime located in center of the chestpiece. Therefore, when auscultating a patient, you only need to be concerned about making contact with the exact center of the chestpiece to achieve optimal sound quality.

    • The heart rate display is intermittent?
      • When trying to obtain the heart rate of a patient, it is important that the very center of the chestpiece is making good contact with the patient, as this is the location of the sound sensor. It takes five seconds of consistent heart sounds to compute the initial heart rate and updates are provided every two seconds. The heart rate will then be displayed for 10 seconds after removal of the chestpiece from the patient. Prior to the initial reading, the display shows two dashes (--). For heart rates outside a range of 30-199 bpm, the display will also show two dashes (--). The acoustic-based heart rate display functions best when the Littmann Model 3100 is placed near the apex of the patient’s heart and can be monitored while using any filter mode and/or volume level. If the heart rate changes from consistent to inconsistent or if there is excessive ambient noise, patient movement or lung sounds during auscultation, the heart rate will display two dashes (--). With practice, your ability to obtain a heart rate from your patient will improve.

    • Where can I find repair service?
      • >We offer complete Littmann stethoscope repair and refurbishment services to ensure your equipment can keep up with your day-to-day workload. Do not attempt to repair the electronic stethoscope yourself. Notify the 3M Customer Support at telephone (01344) 858020 , fax (01344) 857865 or visit the repair service page for details.

    • What is the warranty on the stethoscope?
      • Two-year eartip-to-diaphragm warranty.

  • Stethoscope Model 3200
    • Care and Maintenance
      • How do I clean my Stethoscope?
        • Your Littmann stethoscope is designed to provide years of reliable service. We recommend following our cleaning and care guidelines to keep your Littmann® Stethoscope in optimum condition.

      • How durable is the stethoscope?
        • The Littmann Model 3200 was subjected to splash tests, drop tests, cleaning tests, button press tests and other rigorous testing to ensure it could withstand even the toughest conditions. The chestpiece's solid, cast-metal construction and durable chrome finish can stand up to years of wear and tear. The Littmann Model 3200 is validated to operate at -22°F to 104°F (-30°C to 40°C) and a relative humidity range of 15 - 93%.

      • Where do I find parts and accessories?
        • For additional or replacement parts and accessories, contact the the 3M Health Care Service Center by checking through your local 3M Littmann website. In some cases our distributors too have been trained and authorised to perform service on our behalf.

      • Where can I find repair service?
        • For additional or replacement parts and accessories, contact the the 3M Health Care Service Center by checking through your local 3M Littmann website.

      • Do you offer technical support?
        • 3M prides itself on the high quality of technical service and support we provide. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or comments. Contact information can be found on the column to the right side of your screen.

      • What is the warranty on the stethoscope?
        • Two-year eartip-to-diaphragm warranty.

    • Power and Settings
      • What type of battery does the stethoscope use?
        • The stethoscope was designed to accommodate three battery types to fit your needs. Use one AA Alkaline, Lithium, or NiMH battery to operate your electronic stethoscope. The default battery type is Alkaline. Therefore, if using either a Lithium or NiMH battery, you must change the battery type within the setup menu of the electronic stethoscope for a reliable battery life indication on the display screen. The Lithium battery is a non-rechargeable cell that is recommended for low-temperature operation of the stethoscope and generally has a longer life than an Alkaline battery. The NIMH battery is rechargeable battery (external charger required).

      • How long is the battery life? Can I do anything to extend it?
        • The 3M™ Littmann® Electronic Stethoscope Model 3200 battery will last for approximately 60 hours of continuous use. Before the battery is depleted completely, you will hear a warning tone that the battery has only two more hours of continuous use.

          The life of the battery is being conserved if you are seeing the Littmann logo. You are in standby mode. To enter active mode, tap on the diaphragm or push a button. To turn off the stethoscope, either do nothing (to enter standby mode after a length of time based on POWER setting) or push the power button for two seconds (preferred).

          There are several options to maximize battery life.

          1. Minimizing backlight display time will conserve battery life. Select Menu > BACKLITE and then select either DISABLE or ON DMND (on demand). DISABLE will completely disable the backlight at all times. With ON DMND, the backlight will only activate after pressing the power button. If you feel the backlight is necessary in order to read the display screen, simply select Menu > BACKLITE > ALWAYS. This will activate the backlight at half power to provide visual assistance, yet minmise power consumption.
          2. Ensuring the Auto On / Auto Off feature is enabled (should be by default) will preserve battery life. This feature can be customized to allow for different periods of time before entering standby mode. To optimize the battery life, select Menu > POWER > LOW. This will program the stethoscope to enter standby after 10 seconds of inactivity.

          Sound quality remains constant even on low battery.

          The electronic stethoscopes will not work without a battery.

      • Can I set a different default amplification level?
        • Yes. Select the amplication level you would like to set as default. Press the M button, then press the "-" button until SET VOL is selected, and then press the M button again. The default amplification has now been changed to the new level and is indicated by a small mark in the vertical line next to the volume bars.

      • Can I set a different default filter type (Bell, Diaphragm or Extended)?
        • Yes. Select the filter type you would like to set as default. Press the M button, then press the "-" button until SET FLTR is selected, and then press the M button again. The default filter type has now been changed to the new selection.

    • General Questions
    • StethAssist™ Software
      • What is StethAssist™?
        • StethAssist™ is software intended to be used with electronic stethoscopes for the recording and display of heart sounds and other physiological acoustic signals. StethAssist works with the Littmann model 3200 electronic stethoscope, and runs on a PC meeting the specified requirements.

      • How do I install the Zargis StethAssist™ Software*?
        • First, insert the USB Bluetooth adaptor (dongle) into your PC. Next, place the StethAssist CD in the CD-ROM of your PC and follow on-screen instructions for installation and stethoscope connection. If the installation process does not start automatically, click on the Setup.exe file on the CD. If using a work computer, contact your IT Department to install the software on your computer. Once installed, the software will guide you through the pairing and connecting process.

          *Zargis® and StethAssist™ are registered trademarks of Zargis Medical Corp.

      • How Do I Connect my Model 3200 to StethAssist™ using Bluetooth?
        • In order to transfer data between two Bluetooth® devices, they must first be “paired” electronically. Pairing is a discovery and authentication process that allows your Bluetooth equipped Model 3200 stethoscope to communicate with another Bluetooth equipped device and establishes the link between these two devices as a trusted pair. While the Model 3200 can remember trusted pairing with up to eight different Bluetooth devices, it will only communicate with one paired device at a time. In addition, you cannot pair a Model 3200 with a second Model 3200.

          Once paired, the Model 3200 can connect to the PC. Select the CONNECT option by pressing and releasing the (M) button. The LCD screen will signal that the Bluetooth link is active. The stethoscope will automatically return to operational status.

      • How do I transfer sounds to a PC and can I transmit and receive sounds securely?
        • The sound files are transferred via Bluetooth® communication. Bluetooth is a secure method of file transfer. Files transferred via Bluetooth are encrypted and can only be read by a PC that has been paired and connected to the Model 3200.

    • Bluetooth® Technology
      • What is Bluetooth® technology?*
        • Bluetooth® wireless technology is a short-range communications technology intended to replace the cables connecting portable and/or fixed devices while maintaining high levels of security. The key features of Bluetooth® technology are robustness, low power, and low cost. The Bluetooth® specification defines a uniform structure for a wide range of devices to connect and communicate with each other.

          *Bluetooth is a registered trademark of Bluetooth SIG.

      • Does My Computer Need Bluetooth®?
        • No. Included with the purchase of the Model 3200 is a USB Bluetooth® adaptor (dongle). Simply connect the Bluetooth dongle to your PC using the USB port and your computer will be Bluetooth equipped. For optimum performance, it is recommended that you use the wireless dongle which was included with the Model 3200.

      • What is the range of the Bluetooth® i.e. how far away can the Model 3200 be from the PC and still communicate via Bluetooth?
        • The Model 3200 uses a Class 2 Bluetooth® link, which has a maximum range of 10 meters (about 30 feet). The Bluetooth range is reduced when objects (walls, furniture, people, etc) are in-between the Model 3200 and the PC. To improve Bluetooth communication, reduce the distance and always allow a direct line of sight between the Model 3200 and the bluetooth adapter (dongle). We recommend using a USB extension cable. (See "How can I optimize bluetooth wireless performance").

      • How can I optimize Bluetooth® wireless performance?
        • For optimum wireless connection performance, it is important that the stethoscope chest piece and wireless dongle are in close proximity and that the path between them is free of any obstructions. Walls, furniture, and bodies will degrade the wireless signal.

          The positioning of the stethoscope and wireless adapter is crucial to good wireless performance. In some cases, the use of a USB extension cable which elevates the adapter and/or changes its orientation can result in a marked improvement. Littmann recommends using the StarTech Desktop USB Extension Cable, or similar device, that can be found online at many retailers or at your local electronics store.

          During recording, it may help for the PC to be located next to the patient (rather than behind them) so that the patient's body does not block the signal path. Hold the chest piece firmly with fingertips (rather than a cupped hand) to allow the wireless antenna to function properly. Minimize the distance between stethoscope and PC. Under typical conditions, a distance of 10 feet should be readily achievable.

          Operating environment also plays a role in connection performance. Cordless phones, cellular phone accessories, microwave ovens, and computer WiFi equipment may all degrade connection performance and should be considered if connection performance is less than desirable.

      • Is Bluetooth® safe to use in a hospital environment?
        • The Bluetooth® system employed by the Littmann® Model 3200 stethoscope and software is a Bluetooth Class 2 wireless data link that operates at a frequency of 2.4GHz and with a maximum transmit power of 2.5mW. The maximum radio frequency field strength generated by the stethoscope is below three volts per meter, a level that is considered safe to use with other medical devices.

          Many scientific Bluetooth® coexistence studies performed by 3M and other institutions and have shown that Bluetooth does not interfere with other wireless devices/technologies. In addition, Bluetooth is strongly supported by Continua (SIG group for Telemedicine) and a new Bluetooth Health Device Profile (plug-and-play BT communication protocol for medical apps) was just recently established and the first compliant products are now available. Further, devices with similar technology to ours have been approved in other critical-care settings, including OR suites and ICU floors.

    • Troubleshooting Issues
      • I am having trouble hearing anything when using the stethoscope…?
        • It is important that you are wearing the stethoscope in the proper orientation. All Littmann stethoscopes have headsets that are angled and are designed to fit properly with your ear canals. When holding the stethoscope, be sure that the headset is pointed towards the ceiling and then when placing in your ears, be sure that the headset is pointed towards your nose.

          If the stethoscope is in its correct orientation, you can adjust the sound amplification by pressing the "+" and "-" buttons on the keypad. If you still cannot hear any sound, contact 3M Technical Support.

      • The heart rate display is intermittent…?
        • When trying to obtain the heart rate of a patient, it is important that the very centre of the chestpiece is making good contact with the patient, as this is the location of the sound sensor. It takes five seconds of consistent heart sounds to compute the initial heart rate and updates are provided every two seconds. The heart rate will then be displayed for 10 seconds after removal of the chestpiece from the patient. Prior to the initial reading, the display shows two dashes (--). For heart rates outside a range of 30-199 bpm, the display will also show two dashes (--).

          The acoustic-based heart rate display functions best when the Model 3100 or 3200 is placed near the apex of the patient’s heart and can be monitored while using any filter mode and/or volume level. If the heart rate changes from consistent to inconsistent or if there is excessive ambient noise, patient movement or lung sounds during auscultation, the heart rate will display two dashes (--). With practice, your ability to obtain a heart rate from your patient will improve.

      • I can't hear any sound when playing a previous recording on my PC…?
        • By default, the sound will be played directly back to the Model 3200 via Bluetooth. Listening to previously recorded sounds using the Model 3200 is recommended, as the sound quality will be identical to what you heard while recording. If the connection icon is green (on StethAssist), try increasing the audio volume by pressing the "+" on the stethoscope.

          If the "play to PC" checkbox is checked, then the sound will be played via the PC speakers instead of the stethoscope. Because of the low frequency sounds which may be involved, particularly in Cardiac auscultation, computer speakers (especially native laptop speakers) may have very poor audio response to recordings, giving the impression that is not working. If "play to PC" is selected, use of headphones or external speakers with sub-woofer is recommended; try also increasing the volume on your PC.

FAQs