In November 2015, 3M brought out their Littmann Spare Parts Kit range for stethoscopes. Since then, we have been asked many times whether it is safe to change diaphragms, rims and earpieces yourself. The answer is a definite yes. To learn how to safely swap to your Littmann Classic II SE spare parts, read this guide and watch our video below.
- Replacing Ear Tips
- Replacing the Diaphragm & Rim Assembly
- Replacing the Non-Chill Bell Sleeve
- Upgrading your Littmann Classic II SE stethoscope
- Video guide to fitting Littmann Classic II SE spare parts
Inside the ear tips are three small ridges which form the acoustic seal and hold the earpieces in place. To remove them, simply pull fairly hard on the earpieces while gripping the metal tubing.
Once the original earpieces have been removed, take the replacement ear tips and push them onto the end of the tubing. Make sure they go on thin end first, pushing them until they cover all three ridges. Repeat for the other ear tip.
The tuneable diaphragm is a Littmann innovation that helps you to hear both higher- and lower-pitched sounds without having to change to an open bell. Unfortunately, over time the diaphragm can become damaged through the course of everyday use.
On a Littmann Classic II, the diaphragm is made of two separate parts, the diaphragm itself and the rim. The rim, which holds the diaphragm in place and provides an acoustic seal, comes off first.
To remove the rim, roll it down around the outside of the chest piece and then pull it off.
The diaphragm can now simply be peeled off.
The replacement diaphragm and rim should be joined together as one piece. Centre the diaphragm-rim assembly over the chest piece and “pop” the rim on. Don’t let the rubber flange get caught in the rim (see below) as this will prevent a good acoustic seal and make it more difficult to perform effective auscultations.
Replacing the non-chill bell sleeve on a Littmann Classic II SE is incredibly easy. Simply pull the existing sleeve off the chest piece. You can use a fair amount of force to do this if you need to.
To replace the bell sleeve, put one part of it into position and then “roll” the rest of it on around the edge.
If your Littmann stethoscope has become damaged and is outside of the 5-Year warranty that is standard with Classic II SE’s, you might want to consider upgrading to a Classic III. The Classic III represents a huge improvement in technology over the Classic II SE. The most striking difference is that the chest piece features both adult and paediatric sides with tunable diaphragms, allowing you to simply switch between patients without needing another stethoscope.
The Classic III also features single piece diaphragms to improve the sensitivity and quality of sound that you can hear. This has the added benefit of make cleaning easier and improving infection control.
Watch our video for demonstrations of how to fit replacement parts for the Littmann Classic II stethoscope range.