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Subcutaneous Injections:

1. pg.104 on handout Perry.


2. Hypodermicsyringesarecalibrated(marked)incubiccentimeters

(cc),milliliters(mL),orunits.Practitionersoftenrefertosyringesby
thevolumeofcubiccentimeterstheycontain,forexample,a3cc
syringe.Althoughmanysyringesarestilllabeledincubiccentimeters,
manufacturersarenowphasinginsyringeslabeledinmilliliters.Inthis
text,wewillgenerallyusemLinsteadofcc.
The1mLsyringe,alsocalledatuberculinsyringe,shownin? Figure
7.10,iscalibratedinhundredthsofamilliliter.Becausethereare100
linesonthesyringe,eachlinerepresents0.01mL.Thissyringeis
usedforintradermalinjectionofverysmallamountsofsubstancesin
testsfortuberculosisandallergies,aswellasforintramuscular
injectionofsmallquantitiesofmedication.Thetuberculinsyringeis
thepreferredsyringeforuseinmeasuringmedicationslessthan1mL.
Insulinsyringesareusedforthesubcutaneousinjectionofinsulinand
arecalibratedinunitsratherthanmilliliters.Insulinisahormoneused
totreatpatientswhohaveinsulindependentdiabetesmellitus
(IDDM).Itissuppliedasapremixedliquidmeasuredinstandardized
unitsofpotencyratherthanbyweightorvolume.Thesestandardized
unitsarecalledUSPunits,whichareoftenshortenedtounits.Themost
commonlypreparedconcentrationofinsulinis100unitspermilliliter,
whichisreferredtoasunits100insulinandisabbreviatedasU100on
insulinlabels
Insulinsyringeshavethreedifferentcapacities:thestandard100unit
capacity,andtheLoDose50unitor30unitcapacities.Theplunger
oftheinsulinsyringeisflat,andtheliquidvolumeismeasuredfrom
thetopring.
Aprefilled,singledosesyringecontainstheusualdoseofa
medication.Someprefilledglasscartridgesareavailableforusewitha
specialplungercalledaTubexorCarpujectsyringe(? Figure7.27).Ifa
medicationorderisfortheexactamountofdrugintheprefilled

syringe,thepossibilityofmeasurementerrorbytheperson
administeringthedrugisdecreased.
?

Milliliters(mL),ratherthancubiccentimeters(cc),arethepreferredunitof
measureforvolume.

Allsyringecalibrationsmustbereadatthetopringoftheplunger.

Largecapacityhypodermicsyringes(5,12,20,35mL)arecalibratedin
incrementsfrom0.2mLto1mL.

Smallcapacityhypodermicsyringes(2,21,3mL)2arecalibratedintenthsofa
milliter(0.1mL).

The1mLhypodermic(tuberculin)syringeiscalibratedinhundredthsofa
milliliter.Itisthepreferredsyringeforuseinmeasuringadoseoflessthan1
milliliter.

Thecalibrationsonhypodermicsyringesdiffer;therefore,beverycarefulwhen
measuringmedicationsinsyringes.

InsulinsyringesaredesignedformeasuringandadministeringU100insulin.
Theyarecalibratedfor100unitspermL. Theprefilledsingledosesyringe
cartridgeistobeusedonceandthendiscarded.

Syringesintendedforinjectionsshouldnotbeusedtomeasureoradministeroral
medications.
Usesafetysyringestopreventneedlestickinjuries.

Parts of a Syringe
A syringe consists of a barrel, plunger, and tip.
Barrel: a hollow cylinder that holds the medication. It has
calibrations (markings) on the outer surface.
Plunger: fits in the barrel and is moved back and forth.
Pulling back on the plunger draws medication or air into the
syringe. Pushing in the plunger forces air or medication out
of the syringe.
Tip: the end of the syringe that holds the needle. The needle
slips onto the tip or can be twisted and locked in place (LeurLok).
The inside of the barrel, plunger, and tip (shown in Figure
7.1) must al- ways be sterile.