Infectious Diseases / Outbreak Watch

New York Times: Treating Ebola? Chuck the Stethoscope!

In an interesting news piece, the New York Times has brought up an issue that is quite startling in its simple complexity. The stethoscope, otherwise so natural an extension of a physician, that it has almost ceased to be an independent, separate instrument, is almost non-existent in the wards where ebola patients are being treated in the developing countries!

In USA, the leading centers have the provision of using electronic stethoscopes which are disposable or may be sterilized, however, the application of these in the context of the African nations is a financially ruinous decision as each of these come for over 500 US$!

Clad in the “spacesuit” that covers every physician dealing with Ebola virus afflicted patients, even if a disposable stethoscope is made available, the question remains how does one use them without breaching the integrity of the suit!

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