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A Quick Look into the History of the Hypodermic Needle

A Quick Look into the History of the Hypodermic Needle

The hypodermic needle is a medical device used to inject fluids into the body or withdraw fluids from the body. They are also known as hypodermic syringes or simply syringes.

Since then, the hypodermic needle has undergone many changes and has become an essential tool in modern medicine. Let's have a glimpse into the record of the hypodermic needle through the years.

The Origins of the Hypodermic Needle

The first recorded use of the hypodermic needle was by an Egyptian surgeon named Ammar al-Mawsili. He used it to remove cataracts from his patients' eyes.

French mathematician and physicist Blaise Pascal invented one of the earliest syringes in 1650. Pascal's syringe was made of a hollow glass tube with a plunger attached to one end. This design was later refined by English architect Sir Christopher Wren, who is credited with being the first to use a syringe for intravenous injection.

In 1770, German doctors Johann Daniel Major and Johann Sigismund Elsholtz began experimenting with injecting various substances into human subjects. Their goal was to turn up a way to treat diseases and injuries by directly delivering medication to the affected area.

In 1844, Irish doctor Francis Rynd devised a hollow steel needle that could be used for injections. This design was later improved upon by French inventor Charles Pravaz, who administered a coagulant to stem bleeding in a sheep by using a system of measuring screws.

In 1853, a Scottish surgeon injected morphine into a human patient using a needle. This was the first time that needles were used for medical purposes. Since then, needles have been used for administering pain relief, penicillin, insulin, immunisations and blood transfusions.

Before the 19th century, syringes were made of metal or glass and were difficult to clean and sterilise. In 1858, the Chance Brothers’ Birmingham glassworks produced the first all-glass syringe with interchangeable parts. This design allowed for easier cleaning and sterilisation and quickly became the standard.

In 1957, Colin Murdoch, a Kiwi inventor, applied for a patent for a disposable plastic syringe. This syringe was designed to be used only once and then disposed of. This was a significant breakthrough at the time, as before this, syringes were made of glass and had to be sterilised after each use. Murdoch's syringe was made of plastic and could be thrown away after use, which made it much safer and more convenient.

In 1999, American chemical engineer Mark Prausnitz developed the microneedle prototype, a type of needle that is less than 0.5mm in diameter.

Today, hypodermic needles are an essential part of modern medicine and are used millions of times worldwide.

What Are the Uses of Hypodermic Needles Today?

Hypodermic needles are used for a variety of medical procedures, including:

  • Injections: Hypodermic needles administer vaccines, antibiotics, and other medications.
  • Withdrawing fluids: The needles can be used to draw blood, bone marrow, and other bodily fluids.
  • Diagnostic procedures: Hypodermic needles may be used to collect fluid samples for diagnostic testing.
  • Pain management: These tools can deliver pain medication directly to the site of pain.


The hypodermic needle is a medical device with a long and fascinating history. It has undergone many changes and improvements since then and is now an essential tool in modern medicine. Thanks to its countless uses, the hypodermic needle plays a vital role in keeping us healthy and safe.

UKMEDI is the fastest, easiest, and most reliable place to find your disposable medical supplies. With a wide variety of syringes and hypodermic needles available, UKMEDI has everything you need to stay healthy and safe. Order now and get your medical supplies delivered directly to you.

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