Going on the market to look for needles or syringes can be an intimidating experience for someone not already familiar with the varieties available. Different types of syringes are used for administering an assortment of medications to patients of differing sizes and in different locations. This article will try to help break down some of the common varieties and uses.
Needles are classified based on diameter size and length. The diameter of a given needle is given by its gauge size. A needle with a smaller diameter is given a higher gauge size, while higher diameters mean lower gauge size. Smaller needles are less painful when giving an injection, so using the smallest needle possible for a given shot is key to minimizing pain. The length element is a bit trickier. If a needle is going to penetrate deep into tissue, known as an intramuscular injection, then the needle length must be appropriate to adequately reach its target destination. Deep injections like this also require needles to be of a lower gauge size so they maintain their strength during the shot. A shallower injection given just under the skin is referred to as a subcutaneous injection and requires shorter needles with higher gauge sizes.
Syringes are classified differently compared to needles. The packaging of a syringe should display the amount of liquid the syringe can hold, typically given in milliliters. The choice of a proper syringe should hinge on the medication or fluid being administered. For instance, if a given dose of medicine is 3 milliliters, use a syringe that can hold the entire amount. Do not use anything smaller.
Medications can require different types of needles or syringes, depending on their viscosity and fluid properties. A very thick, viscous fluid would have trouble traveling down a needle size with a higher gauge. Make sure to consult with a doctor or the medication providers for a list of proper needle types before administering. Dosage amounts should be the only dictating factor when choosing the syringe. As mentioned above, make sure the entire dose fits into one syringe unless otherwise specified.
The right tools for the job
Choosing the right needle and syringe for the job depends on knowing about the injection site and how much fluid needs to be loaded. A needle that is too thin or short will not be effective for administering treatment to deep tissue. Likewise, there is no need to use a larger needle for a subcutaneous shot. Match up the right needle and syringe and you will minimize the risk of medical mishaps while ensuring that the fluids are getting where they need to go.