How to Use a Stethoscope and Reflex Hammer for Emergency Medicine

Tips from a doctor on how he uses his MDF Instruments® Stethoscope for Emergency Medicine and how a reflex hammer saved a life.

All right, so as most of you know I was on emergency medicine last month, and one of the cool things about being on emergency medicine is that I didn't need to bring a bunch of stuff with me. I could actually just kind of show up and start my shift. I always walk in with the two god-given instruments, my hands which you can use to assess, palpatate, percuss and really start your workup of a patient, but I never went to a shift without my stethoscope. I had that for every single patient, you know for the quick abc's of medicine. I had to make sure I could listen to and auscultate their heart and lungs. That was just a no-brainer we did for almost every single patient whenever they came in.

That's why I think it's so important to have a stethoscope you trust and rely on. I always use my MDF Instruments® stethoscope and not only it is sleek and awesome looking, I just think it works really well. I've never had a problem with it and the great thing is if after years of using your instruments, if you have any type of problems you've got free replacement parts for life. So you can't really beat it. That's why I highly recommend MDF Instruments® as far as my stethoscope use.

From there we've got the neuro exam. I feel like neuro typically presents the most complicated patients because it could be anything from a workup. From a headache to some kind of a major seizure or stroke, you never know what you're getting into, so you want to do a really thorough neuro assessment. That means checking all the basic reflexes and that's why I've got my MDF® hammer that can help check the reflexes on upper and lower extremities, bilateral, of course. And then on the back side of the hammer I use this to check like a babinski reflex or something like that.

That came in handy this past week. We had somebody that came in and the only real presentation of symptoms that the patient had was generalized weakness and fatigue over the past week. No real other symptoms and honestly the neuro assessment, everything I did was pretty normal. All the cranial nerves seemed to be intact, no headache, no fever, no chills, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, shortness of breath. So what was going on? The only real symptom he had was when I tested the reflex with the MDF® hammer, he had a positive babinski. A little bit concerning, went in for a CT of his head, came back subdural hematoma. Massive brain bleed. Basically we rushed this guy into emergency surgery and saved his life.

So I think it's super important to have good instruments on you when you're working on the wards or working in the hospital in general. Whether you're a nurse, PA, doctor, I don't care. You've got to have the good stuff and that's why I highly recommend MDF Instruments®.

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