When purchasing needles for medical applications, it's a good idea to have an understanding of what you'll be getting. Buyers are encouraged to pay attention to these 5 aspects of their purchases.
The Birmingham gauge specification from England emerged in the early 20th Century as the dominant method for measuring the size for medical needle manufacturing purposes. A wide array of products employ the Birmingham gauge, including hypodermic needles, catheters and wires for sutures. The largest Birmingham gauge is 50, representing a half-inch in width. The smallest gauge, 36, represents 0.004 inches. Gauge sizes are always inverse, meaning that the biggest numbers represent the smallest needles.
Both the inner and outer diameters of hypodermic needles are dictated by the gauge. As the size of the needle gets smaller, it should be noted that outer wall thickness decreases. Gauge does not presuppose length, and length units range typically from 3/8 of an inch to 3.5 inches, although a medical needle manufacturing services provider and produce longer ones for specialized applications.
There is a competing gauging system, the French scale. The two are distinguished by the abbreviations used to denote them. The French scale is noted as Fr, Fg, FR, F, CH or Ch. The Birmingham scale is noted as either G or GA.
Stainless steel tubing is the standard in the industry. They have a cored-out middle that allows for the delivery of fluids from a syringe.
The bevel on a medical needle helps with piercing the skin. Bevel designs will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, with the bulk of design innovations coming for needles that have larger bores in order to reduce discomfort and pain from insertion.
Disposable needles come with two types of hubs, forming the attachment point for working with a syringe. Hubs are usually made from either plastic or metal. Some nurses and doctors believe that threaded metal hubs provide greater stability and security during injections, although plastic ones are also widely used. Each hub has a female-to-male coupling that allows the needle to be screwed on.
Regulations and Certifications
Two federal agencies, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Food and Drug Administration, regulate medical-grade needles. Manufacturers are required to be certified by the FDA. If you're looking for further quality assurances within the manufacturing industry, the International Organization for Standardization offers what is commonly referred to as ISO certification, too.