MAPLEWOOD, MN – 3M has announced plans to ramp up production of a new Littmann COVID-19 stethoscope specially designed with 10 feet of tubing to allow a health care professional to examine COVID persons under investigation from a safe distance.

“With personal protective equipment running low, we’ve all had to get creative with solutions to ensure those in the trenches feel safe and equipped,” explained 3M spokesperson William Blackberry. “Ramping up production of masks, gowns, and gloves wasn’t the answer. Longer tubing was.”

Both the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the federal government have recommended all Americans remain home and exercise social distancing, ideally remaining at least 6 feet apart at all times. Though health care professionals can certainly conduct histories through a phone, FaceTime, or telemedicine, the physical exam does require intimate contact with a patient. With the Littmann stethoscope, health care professionals can auscultate vital organs with a little more peace of mind.

The new Littmann COVID-19 stethoscope does require coordination with the patient – shouting instructions as to where to place the bell or diaphragm during examination – as well as appropriate disinfection after each use.

Primary care physicians, hospitalists, cardiologists, and pulmonologists found that heart, lung, and abdominal sounds were audible to their satisfaction; sound was only slightly diminished compared to traditional-length stethoscopes. Orthopedic surgeons were even pleased by their ability to auscultate femurs.

“I will protect you, femur,” said orthopedic surgeon Brock Hammersley, while listening to a patient’s proximal left femur from a distance of 9 feet. “I will crush coronavirus before it ever hurts you.”

Dr. 99
First there was Dr. 01, the first robot physician, created to withstand toxic levels of burnout in an increasingly mechanistic and impossibly demanding healthcare field. Dr. 99 builds upon the advances of its ninety-eight predecessors by phasing out all human emotion, innovation, and creativity completely, and focusing solely on pre-programmed protocols and volume-based productivity. In its spare time, Dr. 99 enjoys writing for Gomerblog and listening to Taylor Swift.