We all know how important medication can be when we fall unwell and have been designed to help us feel better and recover quicker. Some chronic conditions such as diabetes however, may require medication to be administered by injection on a regular basis which will require a syringe and a needle.
Needles and syringes have been designed to accurately measure the correct medication dosage and then inject it into the body. The crucial part to get right is choosing the correct and most suitable syringe and needle. Each one can be used for different purposes and the needle size you require will depend on the type of medication being administered. Choosing the wrong needle or syringe could lead to severe consequences such as infection or even an overdose. Keep reading to find out how to choose the correct equipment.
Syringe sizes are labelled based on how much medication they can hold and the measurements are usually measured in Millilitres (ml) for liquid volume or Cubic centimetres (cc) for the volume of solids. One ml is equal to 1 cc.
The size of the syringe you will need will depend on the amount of medication you have been prescribed to inject. For example, if you require 3ml of an injectable medication, you will require a syringe that holds exactly that amount or slightly bigger. Choosing a syringe that is smaller and holds only 2ml, would mean that you would have to inject twice, using a new syringe and needle for each injection.
On the flip side, if you use a syringe that is much larger, with a capacity of 15ml, it will be much more difficult to read the markings and accurately measure your medication, which could potentially lead to an overdose.
Needles are available in a vast range of sizes and will be labelled with a number then the letter G and then a second number, for example: 30G 13mm.
The first number in front of the letter G indicates the gauge of the needle. The higher the number, the thinner the needle. The second number indicates the length of the needle, usually measured in mm or inches.
For small amounts of medication a thin, high gauge needle is most suitable. High gauge needles are less painful to use and are ideal for delivering small amounts quickly. However, for larger amounts of medication a wider, lower gauge needle will be a better choice. Whilst it may not keep pain to a minimum, a lower gauge needle will administer a larger quantity of medication more quickly than a high gauge needle.
The appropriate needle length to use will depend on a number of factors including a person’s size and where the injection site will be. Some medications can be injected just under the skin whereas others may need to be injected into the muscle.
Used syringes and needles will need to be disposed of correctly in order to reduce the risk of injury or infection transmission to others. They should not be disposed of with everyday rubbish but instead should be disposed of in a puncture proof, sharps bin and collected as clinical waste.
Using a suitable syringe and needle is crucial for administering the correct medication dosage to yourself or someone else. The syringe you select must be suitable for the job and the needle must be the right size and length for the injection site. The right equipment is vital when it comes to staying healthy.
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