The first syringes with needles are a product of the 19th century. In the 1800s, researchers began to experiment to find a way to introduce medication or drugs into the human body. In 1853, the founder of the first actual hypodermic needle, Alexander Wood, modified a regular syringe to achieve the necessary effects. He added a needle.
For nearly two centuries, researchers and manufacturers have innovated and produced many different types of syringes. Some simple changes include scales and different needle types, and the plunger has also become an integral part of the syringe. As technology developed, plastic has replaced glass to make the syringes safer, the essential components have become standardized, but there are still differences, especially in the size of the syringe.
Most of us can recognize a syringe with a needle sticking out of a long plastic body. Most importantly, you need to know that not all syringes are the same. There are different designs to meet different purposes. The following articles will help you understand some basic principles of choosing the correct syringe size so that you can avoid mistakes when replacing them.
What is Syringe
A syringe is a common medical appliance that is comprised of a barrel, plunger, and needle. It can also indicate only the barrel portion. The syringe barrel can be made of plastic or glass and usually has a scale indicating the volume of liquid in the syringe. Glass syringes can be sterilized with an autoclave. Still, because the cost of plastic syringes is low, most modern medical syringes are made of plastic, which further reduces the risk of blood-borne diseases.
- Plastic syringe – It is the commonly used syringe because it is inexpensive and disposable. It comes with a full plastic plunger tip or a rubber plunger tip. The rubber plunger tip is better because it minimizes the leaking of fluid past the plunger. Although affordable, plastic syringes flex under pressure, leading to volume inaccuracies as high as 5%.
- Glass syringe – This type of syringe is used with a syringe pump. Unlike disposable plastic syringes, glass syringes are reusable and more accurate compared to other types of syringes. The plunger can be made from ground glass, glass with a Teflon syringe tip, metal with a Teflon tip, and metal-only. Glass syringe is more expensive than a plastic syringe.
- Stainless steel syringe – Of all syringe types, stainless steel is the most durable one. It is primarily used for high-pressure dosing applications. The durability of the material makes it the most expensive type of syringe. Aside from the price, another drawback is the challenge of using it as it is not transparent. Health professionals may find it difficult to load and remove air bubbles.
Syringe (Barrel) Size Guide
Syringes are available in several different designs and varieties. Most are disposable, and many come with an attached needle or with no needle at all. You may select the size of the syringe by the volume of medication it holds. Syringe capacity can be labeled as milliliters(ml), a term used to describe liquid volume, or cubic centimeters (cc), representing the volume of solids. Regardless of the measurement used, the volume is the same: 1 cc equals 1 ml. The "size" of a barrel can range between 0.25 ml up to 450 ml.
- Milliliters (mL) for liquid volume.
- Cubic centimeters (cc) for the volume of solids.
Users should take care in selecting the appropriate syringe type. Below are three features of a syringe barrel that should be evaluated: the outer diameter, the inner diameter, and the volume.
The outer diameter (OD) represents the thickness of the syringe barrel. This value ultimately determines whether the syringe will physically fit on the syringe pump. Most syringe pump manufacturers indicate the allowable syringe dimensions for a syringe pump by the volume of the syringe.
The inner diameter (ID) represents the thickness of the cavity inside the barrel where the fluid is stored. This value is extremely important because it needs to be known to set accurate flow rates on the syringe pump.
The syringe volume should have enough volume to satisfy the user’s application. However, the user should be careful to select a syringe that does not excessively exceed their volume requirements. For example, if you are supposed to give yourself 3 cc of a medication, you would want to use a syringe that holds exactly 3 cc. If you use a syringe that can only hold 2 cc, you would have to inject yourself more than once.
|Syringe Size(cc)||Total Length||Outside Diameter||Inside Diameter||Tab Length||Tab Width|
Selecting Syringe Size Tips
When you buy syringes, it is essential that you know which one you need. Are you using the syringe with the needle for intradermal injections, intramuscular injections, or subcutaneous injections? The needle gauge and needle length selection are different for each type of syringe barrel. Below are tips for purchasing a syringe and needle.
- The volume of medication to be administered determines syringe size.
- The type of needle hub used determines the syringe hub. (Luer Lock, Slip Tip, Eccentric Tip or Catheter Tip)
- The viscosity of the medication determines the needle gauge.
- The location of the injection determines the needle gauge and needle length.
- Large quantities of drugs require larger syringe sizes. A need for lower pressure flows also requires a larger dimension.
Make sure you know your needs before shopping.