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How to Choose the Right Syringe and Needle for Injections

How to Choose the Right Syringe and Needle for Injections

It's no secret that taking medication is necessary whenever we feel sick. After all, medications are designed to help us feel better and overcome our illnesses. However, some conditions, specifically chronic ones, often require medication that should be administered in other ways. A perfect example of this is an injection, which requires a syringe and a needle.

A syringe and a needle are used to measure the correct medication dosage and inject it into the body. While the process may seem straightforward, the tricky part lies in choosing the suitable syringe and needle because different syringes can be used for various purposes. Conversely, the needle size will depend on the medication being injected. If one isn't careful, the wrong syringe or needle could result in severe consequences, such as an overdose or an infection. For this reason, we'll guide you in this article.

The Different Syringe Sizes

The primary determinant of a syringe's size is its capacity. Some syringes are measured by millilitres (mL) for liquid volume, while others are measured by cubic centimetres (cc) for volume. Regardless of the measurement, 1 cc is equal to 1 mL².

As for the size of a syringe, the most common ones are 1 cc, 3 ccs, 5 ccs, 10 ccs, and 20 ccs. The size you need will depend on the amount of medication you inject. For example, a 1 cc syringe can hold up to 100 units of insulin, while a 3 cc syringe can hold up to 300 units.

The Different Types of Syringes

Different types of syringes can be categorised based on their usage. The three main types of syringes are:

  • Disposable syringes
  • Reusable syringes
  • Syringes with detachable needles

Disposable syringes are the most common type. They are made of plastic and are meant to be used once and then thrown away. These syringes are available in different sizes and can be used for various purposes, such as injecting insulin or vaccinations. On the other hand, reusable syringes are made of metal and can be used multiple times. However, they must be sterilised before each use. Reusable syringes are less common than disposable syringes, but they're often used in research laboratories.

Syringes with detachable needles can be either disposable or reusable. As the name suggests, these syringes have needles that can be detached and then attached to another syringe. This type of syringe is often used when multiple injections are needed.

Determining Needle Size

Two primary factors determine a needle's size. These are:

Needle Gauge

Needle gauges are defined by the diameter of the needle and are indicated by numbers. The larger the number, the smaller the needle. Needles are available in gauges ranging from 14 to 34, the most common being 18, 21, and 23.

Needle Length

Needle lengths are measured from the tip to the hub, the needle part that attaches to the syringe. Numbers indicate needle lengths. The larger the number, the longer the needle.

So how do you measure a needle's size? The first number in front of the letter G on a needle indicates the needle’s gauge or thickness. A higher number means a thinner needle. The second number after the G is the length of the needle in inches. For example, a 22 G 1/2 needle has a gauge of 22 and is half an inch long.

Syringe and Needle Maintenance

Because the syringe and needle are sterile, you don't have to worry about infection when using them. However, you do have to take care of them. You can clean the outside of the syringe and needle with mild soap and water, but don't wash the needle because that could damage it.

Once you've used your syringe and needle, you'll need to dispose of them properly. You can throw them away in the garbage, but you must put them in a puncture-proof container to help whoever handles it avoid risk. Alternatively, ask your nearest pharmacist about recycling because some pharmacies have specialised bins for used syringes and needles.


Using a suitable syringe and needle is vital to ensure that you can give yourself or someone else the correct medication dosage. Be sure to choose the suitable syringe for the job, and ensure that the needle is the right size and length for the injection site. With the right tools, you can ensure that you and everyone else stay healthy.

If you’re looking to buy needles and syringes, UKMEDI has what you need! Our products are all medical-grade, so we assure you that you will get top-quality medical products for affordable prices. Simply go to our website and take your pick!

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