Types of Syringes

The syringe is an instrument used in many specialties to get a liquid into a place of difficult access. There are many types of syringes, of different sizes and materials; each one specially designed to fulfill a specific job.

Syringes have been used for decades, mainly in medicine; but they can be used for any task where its purpose is necessary. This tool is also commonly known as an injector or injector.

The function of the syringe will be to take a liquid or gas and insert it in a place of difficult access, such as a part of the human or animal body, a pipe, a small object or anything else that requires it. It is also used to absorb a liquid or gas from a place of difficult access; as is the case with blood tests. Now we show you everything you need to know about syringes, their different types and use.

What is a hypodermic syringe?

This is the type of syringe most used at the hospital level. We call the general group of syringes with a hollow needle that can be used to deliver medications intravenously, intra-arterially, intramuscularly and subcutaneously. These syringes can come in different presentations where the size of the needle and/or the amount of milliliters it can contain varies.

The doctor Alexander Wood, invented this type of syringe in 1853. This is used to insert or extract some liquid from the human or animal body. Depending on what it will be used for, it has different measures.

Although this term is generally used to refer to the syringe, what it really refers to is the needle. However, it is not wrong to use the name for the needle-cylinder assembly.

Syringe types

As we mentioned, there are several types of syringes that differ mainly in size and use. We can differentiate the syringes depending on the type of needle they use.  Insulin syringes have fixed needle tips, meaning the needle tip is permanently attached to the syringe and is not able to be removed.  Other syringes with removable needle tips have luer lock needle tips, push on needle tips, bevel or blunt needle tips, or catheter tips.  These are some of the best-known syringe types according to their use.

A luer lock needle tip is a needle which spins onto the syringe/barrel for a secure connection.  This is in comparison to a needle tip which only pushes onto the tip and can become disconnected if the liquid is too thick or there is too much pressure exerted on the syringe.

Needle tips can either be blunt tip which are useful for industrial or craft applications, or a bevel tip for medical uses.

A catheter tip syringe does not have a sharp needle, but only the cone shaped plastic tip which can be used for industrial purposes, feeding animals, or measuring of liquids.  *the above information are some but not all examples of syringe types.

All these syringes use a hypodermic needle, which is used to add or remove fluids intravenously, intramuscularly, subcutaneously and intra arterially:

  • Insulin syringes: they are very small size not Luer-Lock syringes. The needle tips are fixed and permanently in place. They can contain only 1 milliliter of liquid and is used for subcutaneous injections with a very thin and short needle.


  • (Tuberculin syringe: used to test for tuberculosis. It is a very small syringe that can store only 1 milliliter of liquid; and although it is similar to insulin, it should not be used for this purpose.)


  • Oral syringe: used to deliver a medication orally, so they have no needle. Depending on their size, they can store from 1 Ml. up to 5 ml. These are similar to catheter tip syringes which can hold more than 5mL of liquid.


  • Syringes for allergies: they are usually larger syringes, as they are used to deliver larger amounts of medication. They have a thin needle because in most cases, the type of injection that is required is subcutaneous; although they may have longer needles if the type of medication requires an intramuscular injection.


  • Safety syringes: these are a type of syringe that uses a safety system to prevent injuries to the needle, or to prevent contaminants from reaching the needle. Some of these use a retractable needle system.

What is the Toomey syringe for?

Unlike the hypodermic syringe, the Toomey syringe is not used to be inserted into the body; So your needle is blunt. This is used for irrigation, that is, to spread saline or water to clean an area; It is also used for tube feeding. It is possible to change the Toomey needle to perform other tasks, such as liposuctions.

A feature of this syringe is that the fluid can be controlled by blocking the tip of the needle. If you want to perform suction, you can also block the exit when the piston is fully back.

Toomey is mostly used to clean areas, tube feeding, catheter blockage, tube, and tube cleaning, or to administer medications using a catheter. There are several sizes of Toomey syringes, and they have replaceable needles, which can also be of different sizes.

What is the asepto syringe for?

This is a type of syringe without a needle that has a maximum capacity of 60 Cc. This is used in most cases to take fluid samples where a puncture is not necessary; for example, take samples of a chemical that has fallen on the floor or take blood samples from an open wound.

It can also be used for irrigation or oral medications. The main difference of this syringe to the rest is that it does not have a plunger, but uses a suction ball to aspirate or expel the liquid.

Parts of the syringe

The types of syringe just mentioned have different parts, which are:

  • Needle: Which in turn has three parts; the lumen, the bevel and the handle:
  • The handle is the metal body of the needle, which is selected depending on the type of syringe to be used, the type of injection and the patient.
  • The lumen is the hollow part that is inside the handle.
  • And the bevel is the tip of the needle that can have different types of edge.
  • Plunger: is the inside of the syringe that allows filling or emptying the tube. This part comes out of the tube so that it can be manipulated by hand.


  • Tube: it is the cover of the plunger and what keeps the liquid inside the syringe. The dimensions of this are measured in milliliters, and depending on its size, it can contain from 0.5 milliliters to 55 milliliters.


  • Cover: this is just the cover that protects the needle to prevent contamination.


  • Connector: It is the small piece of plastic, usually colored, that allows the needle to connect to the tube.

Syringe Measures

The amount of liquid a syringe can hold is measured in milliliters, which can also be called cubic centimeters. This scale is universally used to measure medications and any other liquid used in the health area. The most used type of syringe is that of 3 Ml. Although there are many different sizes. From 0.5 Ml syringes to the largest of 55 to 60 Ml.

The only syringes that do not use this type of measurement are insulin syringes. Something called units measures these. This is because the amount that this syringe can contain is less than 1 ml. We could say that 1 to 50 units equals 0.5 Ml. and from 51 to 100 units equals 1 Ml.

History of the syringe

In hospitals and health centers, syringes are one of the most common and used instruments; so surely you are familiar with them due to doctor visits. And it is that precisely for this they were invented. Syringes began to be used in the mid-19th century, so they have served humanity for almost 200 years.

The inventor of the first syringe was Francis Rynd in 1844 after inventing the hollow needle. But this instrument became really known was thanks to Dr. Charles Gabriel Pravaz, when designing a syringe very similar to those we know today.

At that time, the syringes were not plastic, and they were mostly reusable materials such as glass, metal, copper, among others. It was in the mid-twentieth century that the disposable plastic syringe was invented, thanks to Manuel Jalón. There are many types of injectors, but the one used in medicine is called a hypodermic syringe.

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