2011 Littmann Stethoscopes Student Promotion.

Littmann stethoscope student promotion

We are pleased to announce the details of the Autumn 2011 Littmann stethoscopes Student Promotion.

This year as an authorised littmann distributor we are able to offer the CARDIAC AUSCULTATION CD as a FREE gift with:

·        Littmann Classic II SE stethoscope 

·        The Cardiac Auscultation CD has proved to be a very popular educational tool, and is unique in its field as it combines heart sounds with MRI scans. This is an ideal gift for all medical students.

The Classic II SE is still the stethoscope of choice for most 1st year medical students, having both a ‘bell and diaphragm’

Diabetes – another disease that is a big problem in the Western world?

There are two types of Diabetes:

Type 1 Insulin dependant Diabetes. This is an autoimmune disease, which occurs because the body accidently creates antibodies against its own cells, specifically here the cells within the Pancreas which make insulin. These cells are called Beta cells and they synthesize the hormone insulin, which regulate blood glucose Level. This results in the Pancreas not being able to make insulin and blood glucose levels therefore rising.

Type 2 Diabetes is different in that it is not usually insulin dependant, i.e. sufferers don’t have to inject insulin into their bodies to treat it. Type 2 arises from insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is when the body cells become resistant to insulin and more insulin is therefore required to have the same effect. To understand this better we need to know more about the mechanism of insulin.

Insulin works, to downregulate glucose levels, by causing fat and muscle cells to take up the glucose and metabolise it. The insulin binds to insulin receptors on the cells surfaces and causes them to take in glucose. During insulin resistance this mechanism becomes weaker and the cells become less responsive to the insulin receptors – consequently more insulin is required. Willingly the pancreas responds and make more insulin. But gradually the insulin resistance increases and eventually the Pancreas can no longer continue increasing its production and the individual will develop diabetes

The causes of type 2 diabetes are varied – the most common ones are:

Obesity, Pregnancy (Gestational diabetes), Stress, infection or severe illness and certain medications (including steroids such as prednisone and HIV medications).

Obesity is the main one that is on the rise and many speculate that this is primarily the reason for the rise in type 2 diabetes in the west.

So why do higher blood glucose levels cause a problem? Well if the condition is chronic then it can damage the eyes, kidneys, nerves and heart. For the eyes it can cause blindness, the kidneys – kidney failure, neural damage and finally within the vascular system is can rapidify the development of arterosclerosis, which can lead to cerebravascular accident (stroke), coronary heart disease and myocardial infarction.

The good news is that we believe these diseases can be avoided, i.e. you can significantly reduce your chance of developing either type, by maintaining a healthy weight through a healthy diet and exercise. This is particularly important if you are pregnant, although gestational diabetes can occur in slim fit women who are pregnant!

Stethoscope for medical students-which is the best ?

Yes it’s September again and we are being asked this question by lots of students embarking on a career in medicine. With many medical schools now incorporating clinical training at a much earlier stage than they used to, many 1st year medical students are now buying their own stethoscopes for use in their clinical training and so they can practice on their friends & family.

When I did my medical training we do not see a live patient for the 1st 18 months and were not taught to use a stethoscope until we entered our clinical training after passing the 2nd MB. Now at many universities (though not all) this has changed and the clinical training is incorporated into the theory training at a much earlier stage and the students are encouraged to practice their clinical skills early by practicing on simulators, volunteers and each other.

Which stethoscope should I choose ?

The first thing to say is congratulations on getting into medical school. This is a very exciting time for you.

When deciding which stethoscope to purchase you need to go for a traditional high quality acoustic stethoscope that has both a bell (for listening to heart sounds) and a diaphragm (used mainly for listening to the chest, taking blood pressure and listening to bowel sounds)

Do not be tempted to buy an electronic stethocope at this stage as all medical students need to first aquire their skills on an acoustic stethoscope, as this is the kind of stethoscope that you will use for most of your medical career, and that you will be required to use in clinical exams.

littmann classic 11 se medical student stethoscope

Their is a huge choice available however in our opinion the Littmann Classic 11 SE still remains the best choice for a medical students 1st stethoscope. It is a high quality, simple to use use robust stethoscope that is ideal for medical students. It also offers great value for money and should last you very well. I still have the original Littmann Classic stethoscope that I purchased as a  medical student over 25 years ago, and it is still in good working order !

littmann classic 11 se perl pink stethoscope

The Littmann Classic now also comes in an array of gorgeous tube colours & bell finishes including metallic  (pink perl finish is shown above) so you really can stand out from the crowd if you want to or you can opt for the original classic black tubes which now also comes in a very cool all black option (Littmann classic 11 se black tube, black bell & black headset) see picture below.

littmann classic 11 se all black stethoscope

As you can probably gather from this blog post we love the Littmann Classic 11 Se Stethoscope and it is our top recommendation for medical students for the following reasons:

  • high quality dual head stethoscope
  • reliable & robust in every day clinical use
  • trusted manufacturer
  • the original & in our opinion the best
  • every UK doctor uses a Littmann Classic stethoscope at some time in their career
  • long estabalished Littmann brand
  • great value for money
  • lots of great colours and finishes to choose from

If you like it as much as we do then use this coupon code ADSUM before the end of this September to save 5% on your Littmann Classic 11 SE at www.valuemed.co.uk

How running has changed my life

At the start of this year I took up running after reading on the internet that it was a brilliant way to handle stress and improve your psychological health. I was never really in it for the physiological benefits.

At first I started with just walking and running a few short distances – then gradually I progressed and started being able to run further without a break. It gradually gets easier and easier, and I found it was a great was to release the stress accumulated from a school day. The psychologicasl benefits are great – its like going to sleep and waking up fully refreshed. Indeed exercise is speculated to downregulate cortisol, the hormone which is released into the blood stream in response to stress. The more precise mechanism is that stress causes the hypothalamus to release adrenocorticotrophic releasing hormone (ARH), which then causes the pituitary to release adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH). The ACTH then travels in the bloodstream to the adrenal gland, located above the kidneys and causes it to release adrenaline (epinthrine) and Cortisol.

I have read that Cortisol is known to kill neurons (nerve cells) and this is believed to be why chronic stress gives rise to depression. Cortisol harms brain cells in three ways: firstly it interferes with the neurotransmitters, secondly it interferes also with the brains supply of glucose and thirdly it cause the calcium ion channels to open and therefore a sudden influx of calcium ions into the neuron. The calcium ions create free radical molecules which then kill or signifcantly damage the cell.

This loss of nerve cells has been linked to loss of concentration, which prevents adequate memory. So in fact less stress may = greater intelligence.

Im starting to get hooked on sport and have taken up rowing and badminton, as well as joining a running club, in which there is no stopping until  everyone stops.