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Are stethoscopes risky in COVID-19?
  1. Yuk-Fai Lau1,
  2. William Wei2,
  3. Chu-Pak Lau2
  1. 1 Department of Ear, Nose and Throat, Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital, Hospital Authority, Kowloon, Hong Kong
  2. 2 Medicine, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  1. Correspondence to Dr Chu-Pak Lau, Medicine, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong; cplau{at}

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A stethoscope is an extensively used piece of medical equipment for the doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and other allied professionals. Stethoscopes spread of infection between patients and between users,1 2 and a patient-specific stethoscope has also been recommended. However, adherence to stethoscope cleaning by the medical professionals is low.2

The Littmann classic III stethoscope has a detachable rubber ear tip piece that fits the external ear. To avoid transmitting infection, the bell and diaphragm can be cleaned with alcohol, and the plastic ear tip piece can be detached for thorough cleaning although it is not alcohol resistant. Only one size ear tip piece is available for all stethoscope …

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  • Contributors Y-FL: Patient care, drafting of manuscript. WW: Patient care, comment of manuscript. CPL: Patient himself, finalised the manuscript (consented to be published).

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.