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How the Syringe Came to Be and Its Relevance Today

How the Syringe Came to Be and Its Relevance Today

The syringe is a device that has been used for many centuries for a variety of purposes. It has been around longer than you think, with origins dating back to Ancient Greece and Rome.

Let's examine its rich history and take a look at how it shaped the syringe's relevance today.

How Does a Syringe Work?

A syringe is a device composed of a barrel and plunger that is used to inject substances, such as vaccines, medications, or blood, into or out of the body. The barrel is typically made of plastic or glass, while the plunger is made of rubber or silicone. The barrel is attached to a needle, which is inserted into the body. The plunger is then depressed, which forces the substance into or out of the body.

It is typically used to inject liquids into or withdraw them from a body.

Syringes are used in the medical industry for a variety of purposes. They can be used to inject medication or to draw blood. Syringes are also used to administer vaccinations.

How the Syringe Came to Be

Derived from the Greek "syrinx," a syringe typically means tube. And this is how it was first made use of in the 1st century AD at the height of the Roman times.

The syringe was used to inject medical solutions into the body. It was also used to measure the amount of liquid that needed to be injected.

Blaise Pascal's Application of Fluid Mechanics

In 1650, Blaise Pascal made significant advancements in fluid mechanics when he created Pascal's Law. This principle states that the pressure of a fluid is equal to the area of the cross-sectional surface of the fluid multiplied by the speed of the fluid.

He injected a small amount of fluid into a sealed container and measured the pressure inside and outside the container. He found that the pressure inside the container remained constant, no matter where he measured the pressure, even though the pressure outside the container varied.

Expansions on the Syringe Design

In 1844, Irish physician Francis Rynd invented the hollow needle and used it to make the first recorded subcutaneous injections. Then shortly thereafter in 1853, Charles Pravaz and Alexander Wood developed a medical hypodermic syringe with a needle fine enough to pierce the skin.

Alexander Wood experimented with injected morphine to treat nerve conditions. He and his wife subsequently became addicted to morphine and his wife is recorded as the first woman to die of an injected drug overdose.

In 1899, Leticia Mumford Geer's design revolutionized the medical industry by making injections easier and more efficient for patients.

In 1946, Chance Brothers in England produced the first all-glass syringe with an interchangeable barrel and plunger. This innovation made it easier for patients to administer their medication, and it quickly became popular among doctors and patients.

The Modern Syringe

In 1961, Becton Dickinson released the Plastipak – the first disposable syringe. In 1974, African American inventor, Phil Brooks, received a US patent for a “Disposable Syringe”.

His invention made syringes more accessible and less expensive for patients. Brooks’s invention allowed for more accurate dosing and eliminated the need for traditional syringes.


The history of the syringe is full of innovation and progress. From the first disposable syringe to the latest advances in medical technology, the syringe has always been an essential tool for both doctors and patients. Thanks to the tireless efforts of inventors and researchers, the syringe has become an essential part of modern healthcare.

You can get your own syringes from UKMEDI. Buy syringes and needles by checking out our online catalogue. Take a look at our offerings today.

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