If you’ve ever had a blood test or an injection of some kind, it’s likely that you’ve come into contact with a hypodermic needle.  Most medical professionals use this type of needle for a wide range of uses including to take blood samples, administer medications and to give vaccinations.  So what makes the hypodermic needles the ideal device to do these things and how do they work?  Here we’ll tell you more about hypodermic needles and the parts that make them.

What Is A Hypodermic Needle?

Hypodermic refers to two combined Greek words - hypo meaning under and derma meaning skin.  This explains that hypodermic means under the skin and describes that a hypodermic needle is designed to go under the top layer of skin.  

Why Are Hypodermic Needles Used By Professionals?

Hypodermic needles are the most common choice for delivering medications, offering an alternative to oral medication and transepidermal delivery.  Hypodermic delivery enables medication to bypass the digestive system, preventing the stomach from breaking down the medication.  It also helps medication to enter the bloodstream much faster meaning it starts working faster too.  It is also less likely for the body to reject medication administered hypodermically.  

Anatomy Of A Hypodermic Syringe

Typically, a hypodermic syringe has two or three parts, excluding the needle.  Some have fixed needles whilst others are designed to be used with detachable needles which are available separately.  

A two part syringe will consist of a plunger and a barrel and this is the most used and recognised type.  The plunger creates the suction inside the barrel enabling the barrel to hold liquid being collected or administered.  The plunger will fit the needle perfectly to ensure liquid cannot escape the barrel. 

A three part syringe is much the same but features a rubber cap at the end of the plunger inside the barrel.  The cap creates a tighter seal to ensure liquid doesn’t escape.   

Hypodermic Needles

As mentioned before, some syringes already have a fixed needle meaning the device is ready to use.  If it doesn’t then you’ll need to understand the difference between Luer Lock and Luer Slip syringes for detachable needles.

Luer Lock syringes require a needle to be twisted onto the syringe via a threaded end.  Twisting the needle to fix it into place provides a tight seal.  If this is not done correctly, liquid could escape.    

Luer Slip syringes are often more popular than Luer Lock syringes. They feature a taper that provides a leak-proof connection between the syringe and the needle.  Luer slip syringes should provide an universal fit due to the international standard for Luer tapers. This means that all needles should connect to any Luer Slip syringe.

To attach a needle to a Luer Slip syringe, it simply needs to be pushed (with the cap on) onto the syringe. Sometimes, a small twisting motion may be required to ensure that the needle is on the syringe tightly.  The tapered shape holds onto the needle with friction ensuring a good seal.

Hypodermic Needle Sizes

The gauge of a needle refers to the thickness or circumference of the needle. The higher the gauge number, the finer the needle.  Needle gauges for injection use range from 32G to 16G.  Gauges have recently been defined by colour, here are some examples:

  • 33G = Green
  • 32G = Pink
  • 31G = Light Blue
  • 30G = Yellow
  • 29G = Red
  • 28G = Blue-Green
  • 27G = Grey
  • 26G = Brown
  • 25G = Orange
  • 23G = Dark Blue
  • 22G = Black
  • 21G = Dark Green
  • 20G = Yellow
  • 19G = Cream
  • 18G = Pink
  • 16G = White

Hypodermic Needles are an essential piece of equipment for many medical professionals as well as those required to self medicate in order to manage long term illnesses and conditions.  We offer a wide range of hypodermic syringes and needles that offer excellent quality, so that you won’t need to worry about running out.  

Sources: https://ukmedi.co.uk/blogs/articles/the-anatomy-of-the-hypodermic-needle-and-syringe

Post By Kelly