What You Need to Know About Medical Needles

Updated on August 12, 2021


One of the most common fears in the US is trypanophobia, or a fear of needles. According to some estimates, one out of every ten people in the US has an extreme fear of needles.

Unfortunately, trypanophobia is not an irrational fear. Improper use of needles can spread bloodborne diseases such as AIDs and Hepatitis.

Knowing more about needles and how to use them eliminates this risk. The CDC found that even in hospital settings, most needle-related injuries were preventable.

That’s why we’ll be discussing medical needles and their proper use in this article.

Syringe Size and Pressure

When we think of syringes, we think of needles, but the syringe is actually the tube-like device attached to the needle. You’ve probably noticed that syringes come in several different thicknesses, and the reason for that is pressure and volume.

Thicker syringes store larger amounts of liquid, but they sacrifice pressure due to a chemistry concept known as Boyle’s Law. Boyle’s Law is a principle that states gases can be compressed to fill a smaller space, but the decrease in space will create more pressure.

For this reason, smaller syringes are often easier to inject than larger ones. If you need syringes of any size, needles, or some other type of medical equipment, you can find them at UKMedi.

Needle Length

There are several different types of syringes. These include dental syringes, insulin syringes, and even one used to suck venom from a wound. Yet, the most major difference involves needle size and the reasoning behind it.

Function and injection site location determine the size of the needle. On the short end of the spectrum are needles designed for intradermal injection, or injection into the dermis or epidermis, which are the top two layers of skin.

Subcutaneous needles are a little longer on average, though they overlap in range with intradermal needles. Subcutaneous means that the injection is occurring in the tissues beneath the skin.

The longest needles are for intramuscular injections, which occur in the muscles beneath the subcutaneous tissue.

Needle Gauge

Gauge measures the thickness of medical needles. This scale is almost the opposite of needle length, with intramuscular needles being the finest. Intradermal needles are as big as some of the thickest intramuscular needles, and the thickest needles are subcutaneous needles.

The scale is also flipped in a very literal way, with lower numbers representing thicker needles. The thickness of the needle depends on the medicine’s viscosity. Thicker, more viscous liquids need lower-gauge needles.

Not all viscous injections are subcutaneous, and not all subcutaneous injections are viscous. That being said, there are some well-known viscous substances injected subcutaneously, including insulin.

Medical Needles and What to Know About Them

Medical needles tend to vary a lot in size and thickness, and there’s a good reason for this. We’ve discussed that reason in this article, but it never hurts to ask more questions if you’re curious.

If you want to know more about health, travel, food, and various other topics, check out the rest of our site.

+ posts

Throughout the year, our writers feature fresh, in-depth, and relevant information for our audience of 40,000+ healthcare leaders and professionals. As a healthcare business publication, we cover and cherish our relationship with the entire health care industry including administrators, nurses, physicians, physical therapists, pharmacists, and more. We cover a broad spectrum from hospitals to medical offices to outpatient services to eye surgery centers to university settings. We focus on rehabilitation, nursing homes, home care, hospice as well as men’s health, women’s heath, and pediatrics.