ERKA Stethoscope Review: It’s Really Good!

What’s an ERKA stehoscope? It’s a beautiful, well made ‘scope from Germany, and ERKA is trying to get into the US market. Full disclosure: I was given one to try out and keep on the condition I would write about my experience, and no promises were made about what I’d say.

Also, it should be noted I’m an Emergency Physician, not an audiologist or a professional tester. I have no specific credentials for exaluating anything except unfrosted strawberry Pop-Tarts™, so if you dislike my assessment or feel the urge to quibble, please know I’ll agree with your objection so you don’t have to share it with me.

The one I got is nearly identical in size and weight to the Littman I’ve carried for years, and as they asked I got one in a very-nearly identical color:

 

It comes with a nice padded case, I’m not sure why (and I didn’t try it), so if a padded case makes a difference to you there it is. It feels German in execution: it’s designed and built by people who Get It, and I absolutely love that. The usual interchangable ear tips are in there, though I found the ones that came on it were the best for me (I like the softer, squishier kind as they make a better seal).

As compared to my daily driver Littman, here are some pics:

What all want to know: does it sound good, does it make the chest noises come to my ears in a pleasing and understandable way? Yes, without doubt. The sounds are at minimum equivalent to the Littman, and maybe better with some judicous pressure on the diaphragm, which stands proud to the edge of the chestpiece rather than slightly recessed as does the Littman diaphragm. It sounds fine. It’s a good stethoscope. You will be happy with the sound quality.

And yet, it’s not going to replace my Littman, and here’s why: Yoke tension is the achilles heel of this ‘scope, and is the only reason I wouldn’t consider it a straight swap. (The ‘Y’ part I’m calling the yoke, I don’t know the techincal term). On the ERKA I found myself taking my non-chestpiece hand and using it to squeeze the earpieces into my ears with some force so I could hear as clearly as I wanted, and that’s something I don’t have to do on the Littman. I did try pulling the yoke across to tighten it, and all that got me was muscle use, it seems impervious to tensioning this way.

The ERKA does come with a notable and excellent warranty, and it’s on a card included in the box:

 

So there’s that, and it’s nice.

 

ERKA stethoscope: great sound, comfortable earpieces, not enough yolk pressure for me. And it comes with a pouch! Were I particularly price conscious and wanted a stethoscope made in Germany rather than the USA, the ERKA should get serious consideration.

Geriatric Nursing’s top 99 nurse blogs, and I’m one of them!

The whole list is here, and it looks pretty good (Emergiblog is still out there, which is nice, most of the others were new to me), and then there’s the writeup they gave this humble blog:

Allen is an emergency care physician from Texas who describes himself as “a grunt in the doctor world”. Having been immersed in the critical aspects of healthcare for most of his career, the Grunt Doc has certification in Emergency Medicine and is now retired, living with his family. His commentary is at times amusing, other times quick-witted and sharp – but it always manages to put a smile on our faces.

That’s very nice but I’m not retired, though admittedly I’m not as fast as I once was.

 

If you’re looking for a day or two of good reading that’s a great place to start.

And, thanks Geriatric Nursing!

 

The 12 STI’s of Christmas, 2016

I missed posting this last year! ( The mobile version! ).

My yearly Christmas favorite, reposted:

Courtesy of the British National Health Service (click the banner):

Hmmm.

NSFW. Funny, but Unsafe for work,unless your work involves STD’s in which case it’s required.

It’s my seasonal favorite post, and I hope it’s one of yours.

Not the STD’s, the funny song with equally amusing illustrations. The backstory, from a previous blog post:

I have seen several searches of this blog for the British National Health Services’ “12 STI’s of Christmas“, and wondered why. The answer: the NHS site no longer carries the wonderful show, for reasons unknown to me. As for the searches, I guess the Christmas season has people thinking about sexually transmitted infections (diseases on this side of the Pond) set to Christmas tunes.

Merry Christmas!

ZDoggMD

Seriously, make sure you’re following him! Because of beautes like this:

Ammunition and the Firefighter

It’s about 4 years old, but I think most haven’t seen this by SAAMI, the sporting arms and ammunition manufacturer’s institute:

It’s 25 minutes but it’s informative and entertaining (though it’s a little hard to watch all that ammo being destroyed).

How long do condiments last?

Some good info here:

Honey, salt, sugar: Indefinite

Tabasco sauce, pepper, vinegar: 3-4 years

Jelly in plastic tubs: 2-3 years

Olive oil, parmesan cheese, taco sauce, mustard, soy sauce: 1-2 years

Mayonnaise, relish, barbecue sauce, tartar sauce, horseradish sauce, maple syrup, nut butters, salad dressing, ketchup: 1 year

ZDogg sings about stroke

It’s good!

Follow him on twitter, @ZDoggMD or at this blog ZDoggMD.com

How teleconferences really go

This is way too true.

 

It’s GruntDoc.com’s birthday!

The thirteenth, and as such is in that awkward non-communicative phase.

 Thanks to the seven of you for checking in from time to time!

 Yes, I intend to keep this. Should my current situation change, I suspect long form blog posts would return.

A wonderful Fisking

I’m neither terribly for nor against paramedics working as employees in the ED, but I love people ripping apart straw man arguments.

Texas ENA’s Unprofessional Attack on EMS

Author’s note: I generally avoid posting non-tech matters on my blog, but this unprofessional, unsubstantiated, fear-mongering attack of EMS in Texas has me boiling. I present to you something that doesn’t just affect Texas EMS, but EMS in the entirety of the United States of America. This has been fought in other states, and if it isn’t stopped now, will set a precedent and spill into many more states and regions. If you want to advance, you don’t do it by holding your siblings down in mediocrity and attacking their skills and intelligence. They seem to have taken a page out of the book, “How to Get Ahead in Life by Attacking Your Colleagues.” It is uncalled for.

Go, now, and enjoy.

 

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger

unless it’s the tail rotor. They will straight up kill you.

Buy the t-shirt!

2015-02-09_23-23-32

12 STI’s of Christmas, 2014

I missed posting this last year!

My yearly Christmas favorite, reposted:

Courtesy of the British National Health Service (click the banner):

Hmmm.

NSFW. Funny, but Unsafe for work,unless your work involves STD’s in which case it’s required.

It’s my seasonal favorite post, and I hope it’s one of yours.

Not the STD’s, the funny song with equally amusing illustrations. The backstory, from a previous blog post:

I have seen several searches of this blog for the British National Health Services’ “12 STI’s of Christmas“, and wondered why. The answer: the NHS site no longer carries the wonderful show, for reasons unknown to me. As for the searches, I guess the Christmas season has people thinking about sexually transmitted infections (diseases on this side of the Pond) set to Christmas tunes.

Merry Christmas!

How I feel about ATLS, in someone else’ tweet

Perfect.

[Read more…]

Grumpy People Get the Details Right — Science of Us

Think back to the last time you had to navigate a customer-service situation. Perhaps you were trying to make a doctor’s appointment when few convenient times were available, or you may have been speaking with a credit-card rep in an effort to get a onetime waiver on a late payment charge. Maybe you were speaking with an airline representative in hopes of finagling priority seating. Did you adopt a warm tone and play nice? Or did you raise your voice and speak aggressively? You are a nice person, so you probably chose the kind route. The tough pill for most of us to swallow is that those overbearing screamers often get their way. Feisty personalities, although unpleasant, can be tremendously effective.

via Grumpy People Get the Details Right — Science of Us.

I am vindicated!

There’s always another surprise

We remodeled our kitchen 16 months ago.

Today, my wife decided to pull out the broiler pan.

surprise!

 

We don’t use the broiler, obviously.

It did answer the question ?Why didn’t it come with a temperature probe?! The red is plastic that was holding some nice black trim screws.

So, we now have a temp probe and I have some plastic-coated screws.

 

I kinda like surprises. Sometimes.