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Syringe history

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The syringe (German: Spritze, from spritzen - splashing) is a general name for instruments used in medicine, engineering and cooking for injecting and removing liquids and gases using piston pressure.

Today, syringes are used for intramuscular, intravenous, subcutaneous, and other types of injections, as well as for washing cavities, sucking fluid, and injecting nutrients.

Medical syringe

A syringe is a medical instrument intended for injection, diagnostic puncture, and suction of pathological contents from cavities.

Principle of operation

When the syringe piston is lifted, if its needle is placed in a vessel with liquid, a vacuum is created between it and the surface. There rushes the liquid from the vessel, because it is affected by atmospheric pressure.


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Typically, the syringe is a hollow graduated cylinder with a cone on which the needle is fitted, and an open end through which a piston with a rod is inserted into the cylinder. In the 1980s, disposable syringes (SHOP, colloquial name: disposable syringes), almost entirely made of plastic, with the exception of the needle, which is still made of stainless steel, became widespread. The syringe also has a large number of slang names for drug addicts. Syringe tubes are also used for the single injection of drugs.

General terms of use

Since the syringe is in contact with blood during use, attention should be paid to the sterility of the syringe:

  • before using a disposable syringe, you must ensure the integrity of the package;
  • reusable syringes are carefully boiled before use.

To carry out the injection, the needle of the syringe is placed in the container with the medicinal product, after which the required amount of the drug is drawn into the syringe cylinder by moving the piston. Before the injection, make sure that there are no air bubbles in the preparation in the syringe. To do this, the syringe is directed by the needle upward and with a slight movement of the piston, the air is expelled from the syringe along with part of the preparation. The skin at the injection site must be rubbed with alcohol. Subsequently, depending on the type of injection, the needle is inserted into the patient in a vein, under the skin or inside the skin or inside the muscle, after which the piston moves the medicine from the syringe into the patient's body.

Types of disposable syringes

Volume Needle
1 ml (insulin / tuberculin) 0.45 x 10 mm 26Gx2 / 5
0.40 x 10 mm 27Gx1 / 2
2 ml 0.6 x 30 mm 23Gx1 1/4
3 ml 0.6 x 30 mm 23Gx1 1/4
5 ml 0.7 x 40 mm 22Gx1 1/2
10 ml 0.8 x 40 mm 21Gx1 1/2
20 ml 0.8 x 40 mm 21Gx1 1/2
50 ml 1.2 x 40 mm 18Gx1 1/2
150 ml (Janet's syringe) 1.2 x 400 mm 80G x 1 1/20

History of creation

Despite the fact that intravenous injections were carried out from the middle of the 17th century, the syringe, in the form in which we now know it, was invented only in 1853 by veterinarian Charles Gabriel Pravaz and Alexander Wood independently from each other.

The first syringes were made of a rubber cylinder, inside of which was placed a well-fitted piston made of leather and asbestos with a metal pin sticking out. At the other end of the cylinder, the cannula was strengthened. Since the cylinder was opaque, notches for the dosage of the medicine were made not on it, but on the metal pin of the piston.

In 1949-1950, Arthur Smith received US patents for disposable syringes.

The first disposable syringes began to be mass produced by the company “Becton, Dickinson and Company” in 1954. These syringes were made of glass.

In 1956, Colin Murdoch, a pharmacist from New Zealand, invented and patented a plastic disposable syringe.

Currently, many inventors are working on the implementation of the ideas of truly disposable syringes - that is, those that would simply be physically impossible to use twice. This task is due to the fight against the spread of HIV and other infections. Some inventors have already achieved some success and even received patents for them, but the truly reliable and cost-effective solution to this problem is missing. In a number of countries, there are charity organizations for exchanging syringes to reduce the spread of HIV among drug users, who often use the same syringe several times.

Despite the fact that the history of the creation of a syringe originates in the middle of the XIX century, mankind has long ago used a variety of methods for the introduction and removal of fluids from the body. So even 2.5 thousand years ago, Hippocrates known to us used a hollow tube, to which a pig bladder was attached. In the 17th century, many scientists and doctors attempted to carry out intravenous and subcutaneous injections, as well as transfusions using bird feather.

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In general, the design of the press, that is, cylinder, piston and needle, was invented by the French physicist and mathematician Pascal in 1648. It is called Pascal injector. But, unfortunately, the public of that time did not appreciate this development, and the invention was forgotten. Only in the middle of the XIX century, Dr. Alexander Wood, based on the injector, designed a syringe for injecting drugs under the skin. At the same time, the surgeon Charles Gabriel Pravaz created a similar device of larger volume for use during operations.

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Glass syringes

The first syringes in history were made of leather and rubber, and notches for dosing were made on a metal piston. Glass reusable syringes manufactured by Luer company appeared in 1894. At the core of their design was the idea of ​​Fournier's glassblower. Syringes were produced in volumes from 2 to 100 ml, had a conical connection of the needle with the cylinder of the syringe and were made from chemically and thermally resistant glass, which made it possible to successfully sterilize them with different methods.

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The history of creating disposable syringes began with the development of American Arthur Smith, who in 1949 patented the first glass disposable syringe. And only seven years later, a New Zealand pharmacist, Colin Murdoch, invented a plastic disposable syringe. In subsequent years, he was actively engaged in the refinement and patenting of his invention, and by the 70s of the twentieth century, Mordoch had a patent for a disposable plastic syringe in all countries of the world. And their industrial output has been adjusted since 1961.

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Janet's syringes

At present, development is being carried out in two directions: first, this is the creation of syringes, which in principle cannot be used twice, but so far there are no clear results, and, second, the reduction of pain injections. So, for example, jagged needles with a smaller area of ​​skin contact, devices sticking needles at high speed were created, and a method of freezing needles before injection was also developed.

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Insulin syringes

The last qualitative leap in design is the replacement of two-component disposable syringes with three-component ones. All things in a small rubber band around the piston. She greatly reduced the pressure force, and acc. pain sensations. The last picture is just 3-component. And the needles have been so sharp for a long time that there is no problem in their further modernization - with the correct injection technique, it is not felt at all.