Sunday, April 30, 2006

The ULTIMATE Doctor's Bag

I've decided to construct the ultimate doctor's bag, so as to never be short the materials necessary to perform the diagnostic physical exam. I have some of these materials but I thought I'd show the whole shopping list:
I really like my Classic II S.E. from 3M Littman Stethoscope. It's resilient but I've been able to perform decent auscultation of the abdominal, breath, and heart sounds. The decent is probably more a failing on my part then this fine instrument. Plus it makes me look "doctorly".

Pulse Oximeter
The O2 saturation has become part of standard vital signs. Pulse oximeters have become smaller and more compact, providing both the heart rate and O2 sat. The Invacare Digit Finger Pulse Oximeter is one of those available.

Blood pressure measurement requires a stethoscope and sphygmomanometer (blood pressure cuff and gauge). There are many types of sphygmomanometers available at AllHeart.

Peak Flow Meter
There is a new hand held Peak Flow Meter for Spirometry with FEV1 from MicroLife which enables both measurement of peak expiratory flow (PEF) and forced expiratory volume in 1-second (FEV1), allowing a quick bedside evaluation of pulmonary function.

Two years ago I purchased a Welch Allyn 3.5v Diagnostic Set due to the size constraints and needs of a medical student. However, in a doctor's bag the 5x magnification and ease of a PanOptic opthalmoscope might well be worth it.

Neurological Instruments
A Baseline Taylor Hammer with Tuning Fork has all the tools necessary to test fine touch, pain, vibration, and deep tendon reflexes. Auditory testing including Weber and Rhinne test requires a 512 Hz tuning fork. Two-point discrimination can be done with a Baseline Aesthesiometer. Finally a pen light would also be necessary. A Snellen eye chart would also fall in this category.

With the increasing prevalence of diabetes this makes a valuable addition to a doctor's bag. Glucometers are available at Diabetes Store.

EKG Calipers and Ruler
Make use of a drug rep, usually the ones in cardiology will have some.

CPR Mask
Cardiopumonary resuscitation can be performed more efficiently and safely with a CPR mask. Checkout The Lunatick's Fire and EMS Store.

Trauma Shears
Its amazing how handy trauma shears can be, try The Lunatick's Fire and EMS Store.

Tape Measure
I have not included disposal items such as hand sanitizer, gloves, Hemoccult cards, lubricants, etc. This British article also has some excellent suggestions, with the addition of medications.

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