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Firefighter-paramedic invents device to protect stethoscope

The StethoSafe is a patent pending case that protects the head of a stethoscope


3D printed prototype of StethoSafe.

Photo/Greg Sumner


ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. — Ask anyone in emergency services and they’ll tell you, “We’re good at breaking stuff.”

Usually this is a positive attribute in this line of work. Just ask someone trapped in a burning building or a heavily entrapped passenger in a vehicle crash. Occasionally, though, this attitude can have some unintended consequences. I’m specifically talking about the treatment of stethoscopes in EMS.

The stethoscope is an essential diagnostic tool on many routine and critical emergency medical scenes. Unfortunately, stethoscopes have a weakness. That weakness is the delicate diaphragm(s) located on the head of the stethoscope. Because they are stored in bags and cases with other equipment, stethoscope diaphragms are frequently damaged. To prevent this damage, some agencies require EMTs and paramedics to use separate, time consuming and bulky cases, or go to extraordinary lengths to protect their stethoscopes while stored.

Frustration with this process inspired Central Florida firefighter/paramedic Greg Sumner to invent a better way to protect just the head of the stethoscope, and, more importantly, the delicate diaphragms. After months of brainstorming, prototyping and testing, the StethoSafe is now ready for production.

The StethoSafe is a patent pending case that is compact, rugged, easy-to-use and fast. The performance of the production-ready prototype has exceeded even its creator’s expectations.

The StethoSafe can potentially be useful for many individuals and organizations, such as fire and EMS departments, EMS schools, EMT, paramedic and nursing students, traveling doctors and nurses, rural veterinarians, any mobile medical practitioner, and more.

The StethoSafe will be available for sale by June 1, 2017. A Kickstarter campaign has been started to raise awareness and test market demand for the device.