A Guide to the Different Types of Needles


Are you curious about the different types of needles to use when injecting medications?

Regardless of your reason for injecting medications, safety is key. However, spotting harmful needles is often easy, but spotting safe needles is a little less clear. It’s easy to identify glass, bamboo, or hypodermic needles, but quality stainless steel needles also pose a threat to your safety.

Knowing the different types of needles is key to your safety. Luckily, learning the various types is simple. Check out our guide below to learn more.

Intramuscular Injection

An intramuscular injection is a type of needle injection that is administered directly into one of the body’s muscle groups. This type of injection delivers medicine more quickly into the system than oral medication, as it bypasses having to be absorbed through the digestive system.

Intramuscular injections are usually done using a needle that is relatively small and thin, and they typically provide the fastest and most effective way of delivering medication. Needles used in this type of injection are usually 1-1.5 inches long and of a slightly larger girth than those used for subcutaneous injections.

Intradermal Injection

An intradermal injection is a type of needle injection given directly into the dermis, or the layer of tissue directly below the epidermis, to administer medication or a vaccine. This type of injection allows the medication to be delivered to specific sites in the body, rather than having it spread out over the entire body via other methods of administration.

Due to the size of the intradermal injection needle, it is administered in a very shallow manner and is often used to create a small red bump around the site of injection that marks the injection and indicates that the drug was successfully administered.

Subcutaneous Injection

A type of needle subcutaneous injection is a type of injection in which a needle is injected just beneath the surface of the skin. This type of injection is usually used to deliver small doses of:

  • medications
  • vitamins
  • substances

It is commonly used for insulin injections and other medications that need to be administered every day. This type of injection is also used to apply shots of antibiotics or to receive vaccinations. Since it is a shallow injection and does not penetrate the muscle layer, this type of injection can cause less discomfort for the patient.

Intravenous Injection

A type of needle intravenous injection often referred to as IV injection, is one of the most common methods of medication delivery. This type of injection uses a hollow needle inserted into a vein of the body through which a fluid, usually a solution of medications, is administered directly into a large vein.

The fluid is usually injected at a relatively slow rate to ensure that the medication is delivered evenly and efficiently into the bloodstream.

IV injections can come with a variety of potential risks, such as:

  • allergic reactions
  • infection
  • tissue damage
  • death

Thus, they should always be handled with extreme care. There are far more other types of needle you can find out if you click for more reads on needles.

Understand Different Types of Needles

There is a wide variety of types of needles available to perform a multitude of functions. Each type of needle offers advantages and disadvantages, but with a proper understanding of the materials available, medical professionals can determine which tool they need for the job. 

Consider this read your guide to uses of needles and staying safe from using the wrong ones.

To explore more facts aside from needle options, check out our blog page.

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