CHOOSING THE BEST SYRINGES & NEEDLES
Shopping for medical syringes and needles can be overwhelming - especially for beginners looking for an injection device to administer life-sustaining medication like insulin or to manage chronic conditions like Crohn's disease or rheumatoid arthritis. The vast selection of syringe types and needle gauges can make determining which syringes and needles are best for your situation very difficult.
Syringe - A simple pump consisting of a plunger that fits tightly in a tube to assist in pushing liquids or solids into an object either through a needle, tubing, or a nozzle.
Hypodermic Needle - A hypodermic (hypo – under, dermic – the skin) needle is a hollow needle used with a syringe to inject or extract fluids.
SYRINGES WITHOUT NEEDLES
Oral syringes are used to accurately measure and administer liquid medication. Unlike other syringes, dosing syringes do not require a needle for dispensing. Most commonly associated with children’s prescriptions, oral syringes are often used to ensure proper dosing for babies and toddlers in lieu of a spoon.
Irrigation syringes are essential in wound cleaning, dental procedure aftercare, ear wax removal, and cleaning out nasal or sinus passages. Irrigation syringes can be purchased individually or in convenient sets including irrigation trays and accessories like protective capes, sterile prep pads, and saline solution.
Blunt tip needles are used to transfer medication to an IV, ampoule, vial, or luer valves without accidental needle sticks or compromising a sterile field. Also known as blunt fill needles are also used for injecting dermal fillers in cosmetic procedures as well as intravenously for the administration of IV fluids.
Insulin pen needles are specifically designed to use with most U.S. made insulin pens and dosers. Available in different gauges and lengths to accommodate unique individuals, the attachment is typically universally sized to fit most U.S.-made insulin dosing devices.
Syringes/needle combinations are available in two formats - single use, one piece syringe with an attached needle or two piece sets that come with a syringe and detachable needle. Both versions are offered in multiple gauge sizes and lengths to meet a variety of needs.
A universal staple of medical clinics and healthcare facilities, blood drawing needles are technically not syringes nor do they attach to traditional syringes. Instead, these needles are used with a vacutainer device that employs a vacuum effect to draw the blood through the tube into a collection tube.
SYRINGES WITH NEEDLES
Syringe Tip - Detachable end of a syringe that attaches to the needle or other device necessary to inject or extract.
Syringe Barrel - Cylindrical part of a syringe that houses injectables or holds withdrawn fluid. Intermittently marked for accurate measurement.
Typically, syringe tips and syringe barrels must be comparable styles in order to work together properly. Following suit, needles are universally threaded to only attach to syringe barrels of the same type. The most common tip and barrel styles include the Luer lock, slip tip, catheter tip, and eccentric tip.
A regular slip tip syringe is very common as the needle simply pops on and off making installation and removal quick and simple. A catheter tip is commonly used for injecting through tubing or when a regular slip tip needle is larger than the standard slip tip.
Eccentric tips are useful for accessing veins or tissue very close to the skin's surface. Luer lock style tips and needles simply screw together the male end of the barrel to the female end of the needle securely creating a leak-free connection.
TYPES OF SYRINGE TIPS & BARRELS
BEST-SELLING SYRINGES BY GAUGE SIZE
Needles in this gauge size range work best for injections in the subcutaneous tissue located under the epidermis and the dermis. The 3mL Luer-Lok Syringe with a PrecisionGlide Detachable Needle is a top-rated product in this category. Made by BD, this 25-gauge long syringe needle delivers various medical injections directly into your subcutaneous area with a 5/8” long stainless-steel needle. Along with a detachable hypodermic needle, the syringe has a clear plastic barrel that holds 3mL of fluid.
Other popular syringe types in this category include the 3 ml BD Luer-Lok Syringes with PrecisionGlide Needle Combo - 21 g x 1 1/2 in. and the popular BD Tuberculin 1 mL Syringe with 21 G x 1 in. BD PrecisionGlide™ Detachable Needle.
Needle gauge size indicates the width of the needle. Therefore, a higher gauge (G) of a needle number coincides with a smaller needle width and thinner walls. Conversely, a lower gauge size equals a larger needle width and thicker walls with more strength and durability. So, the lower gauge needle would be better for delivering high viscosity fluids through thick skin. On the other hand, higher gauge needles are less painful and better suited for low viscosity (watery) medications.
Needles are available in different thicknesses between 14 gauge to 30 gauge and lengths between ¼” and 2”. Shorter needles are usually used for injections right under the skin, while longer lengths are a necessity for getting past muscles. Finer gauge needles cause less pain and thicker gauges are more common in long needles and used on thicker-skinned patients.
Since gauge size is an essential determining factor in selecting medical injection products, we have a compiled list of the best syringes and needles in the following three-gauge size categories.
18 Gauge Needles to 27 Gauge Needles
26 Gauge Needles to 28 Gauge Needles
This needle gauge range is the most common because the needles in this category suit intramuscular, intradermal, and subcutaneous injections. However, syringe needles in this range are also handy for insulin injections. This fact makes McKesson’s 27 gauge Insulin Syringe With Needle an excellent selection in this category. With its low Dead Space design, the syringe needle combination performs with optimal sharpness and smoothness. The clear barrel syringe with this disposable product holds 1mL of insulin. Although it comes with a box of 100 needles, you can also include an extra pack of 100 hypodermic needles with your Allegro Medical order.
Another exceptional insulin injection device is the 1/2 mL Low-Dose Insulin Syringe. This Micro-Fine product has a 28 gauge x ½ inch needle. In addition, this syringe-needle combination is an easy-to-use medical injection tool that is safe for healthcare workers and at-home users.
Hypodermic needles in this range rarely cause discomfort as they glide into the intradermal or intramuscular layers. In today’s medical supply market, the Ultra-Fine Lo-Dose Syringe 30g x 1/2” needle is among the best injection devices for intradermal injections. It comes with the Ultra-Fine Syringe or the 0.3 mL Insulin Syringe.
If you are looking for an exceptional insulin injecting device in this range, the Easy Touch Insulin Syringe with Needle is a popular choice. Its surgical steel needles have a triple-bevel cut for a sharper point. Easy Touch is one of the leading brands in smooth injection devices. Also, you can choose between 28, 30, and 31 gauge sizes.
28 Gauge Needles to 32 Gauge Needles
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the difference between a syringe and a needle?
While many people assume that syringes and needles are one and the same, the truth is there are a few key differences between these two pieces of medical gear. A syringe is a piece of medical equipment that’s typically made of three parts – a barrel, a plunger, and a needle. A syringe can be used with a needle to deliver injectable medication into a vein or muscle, or it can be used without the needle – for example, in an oral application.
What is the standard insulin needle size?
With so many people around the world living with diabetes, it’s important to understand as much as possible about the needles and syringes that deliver much-needed insulin. As a person grows and their insulin dosage changes, so do the standard insulin needle sizes that they will use.
When using an insulin needle, the size an individual uses depends on their dosage and their personal preferences. Many people will use several different sizes of insulin needles in a single day.
Additionally, some people prefer thinner gauge needles because they inject more comfortably. When it comes to length, doctors generally agree that shorter needles of around 4mm are preferable, to avoid any danger of hitting muscle.
How do I clean a syringe?
Most doctors do not recommend reusing syringes and needles for insulin delivery. You should always talk to your doctor if you feel the need to reuse any of your diabetic supplies. If you are reusing syringes, make sure to always place the cover back on your needle after use, and avoid cleaning the needle tip with alcohol. This can remove the protective silicone covering on the needle, causing it to become dull faster, which can lead to needle pricks that pinch or bruise.
If you are determined to reuse your syringe and want to clean it, the CDC recommends a three-step cleaning process where the user rinses the syringe in water, followed by pure bleach, followed by another rinse of clean water. Please consult your physician before reusing a syringe or needle.
How do I unclog a syringe?
Unfortunately, there is no completely safe way to unclog a syringe. If you find that your syringe is clogged, the best approach is to simply dispose of it safely, then use another needle. A good way to avoid clogs in the first place is to store all your needles and syringes with the covered needle tip pointing up, so that the insulin doesn't block the needle opening for long periods of time. Make sure you always have a robust supply of needle caps, along with other important syringe accessories.
How do I dispose of syringes and needles safely?
The easiest and safest way to dispose of syringes and needles is a two-step process. First, purchase a needle and sharps disposal container, and make sure that you put your syringes and needles in there when you’re finished with them. They can remain in the sharps container safely for weeks or even months. After it's full, dispose of the entire container according to your county or city’s guidelines. Needles and syringes should never be thrown out, recycled, or left lying around.
MEDICAL ADVICE DISCLAIMER
The information, including but not limited to text, graphics, images, charts, and any other material on this site, is intended for informational purposes only and does not take the place of medical guidance provided by your physician. No information on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult a qualified medical professional about your condition or circumstances before undertaking a new healthcare regimen.