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A Quick Guide to Injection Needles

by UKMEDI 15 Sep 2023

A medical needle is a sharp object used to puncture the skin and insert liquids into the body. Needles have a hollow centre that allows liquids to flow through them and a sharp point that helps them pierce skin easily. Needles also have a hub, which is the part that attaches to the syringe. The hub can be made of different materials, such as plastic or metal.

Needle shafts come in different lengths, and the needle size is measured by its gauge. The higher the gauge, the thinner the needle. Needle tips usually have a bevelled edge, making cutting through the skin easier. Some needles come with a cap that helps to protect the person who is using the needle from getting poked by the sharp point.

Here, we're sharing a quick guide to injection needles:

Criteria for Choosing the Right Needle

The three primary considerations when choosing a needle are its gauge, length, and intended purpose. The gauge of a needle is how wide or thin it is, while the length is measured from the base of the needle to its tip. Intended purpose refers to how deep the needle needs to go to reach the desired injection site, which can be either intradermal (in the skin), subcutaneous (under the skin), or intramuscular (into muscle tissue).

Choosing the Right Needle Gauge

Choosing the correct injection needle gauge is critical to any injection procedure. The gauge of the needle determines the size of the opening through which the medication will be injected and, therefore, directly impacts the amount of medication that can be delivered.

There are a few factors to consider when choosing the correct needle gauge for your injection. The first is the medication you are injecting. Some medications are very thick and require a larger gauge needle to deliver the medication. Other medications are very thin and can be injected with a smaller gauge needle.

The second factor to consider is the size of the patient. A larger patient will require a larger gauge needle to ensure the medication is delivered properly. A smaller patient can usually be injected with a smaller gauge needle.

The third factor to consider is the injection site. Some injection sites are very sensitive and require a smaller gauge needle to minimise discomfort. Other injection sites are less sensitive and can accommodate a larger gauge needle.

Once you have considered all these factors, you can select the appropriate needle gauge for your injection.

Choosing the Right Injection Needle Length

Choosing the right injection needle length is important for many reasons. The wrong needle length can lead to pain, bruising, and infection. Needle length also affects the amount of medication that can be injected and how easily the medication can be injected.

The length of a standard needle used for injections varies depending on the injection site. Typically, the further the depth of the injection, the longer the needle. For intramuscular injections, 7/8 to 1-1/2 inch needles are usually required. Subcutaneous injections typically call for a 1/2 to 5/8 inch needle. Intradermal injections generally require a 3/8 to 3/4 inch needle. The 1/2 and 5/8 inch needles are considered the most common lengths of needles.


When buying needles and syringes, you need to consider what kind of injection you will be using them for. There are different needles for intradermal injections, intramuscular injections, and subcutaneous injections. Each type of injection uses a different kind of needle, so you must ensure you get the right one for the job.

UKMEDI offers high-quality needles and syringes in the UK. Find the needle that you need from our store today!

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