A syringe tip is the removable end of a syringe that attaches to the apparatus that injects or disseminates the contents of the syringe, such as a needle. Different types of tips connect the needle and the barrel using different methods. The barrel is where the syringe contents are stored prior to injection. These tips are typically used once, and used tips must be handled carefully, as they can spread many diseases.
There are three main types of syringe tips. Each type connects the needle to the syringe barrel in a different way. One type uses friction to secure the needle to the syringe barrel. In friction tips, the tip and barrel are pushed together until they connect. A Luer Lock tip is threaded and twisted on to the end of the barrel, similar to how a screw and bolt thread together. A third type of tip is referred to as an eccentric. This is used when the needle has to be inserted parallel to the skin, such as in a tuberculosis test.
A number of types of injection syringe tips are available. A needle tip is most common. Needles come in varying gauges, which refer to the size of the tip of the needle. A needle’s tip is known as the lumen. All tips with needles should have caps to protect against accidental puncture. A needleless syringe, such as a nasal syringe or enema syringe, would not have a needle but rather a long and slightly cone-shaped end piece.
In some syringes, the connection between the syringe tip and the barrel doubles as the output apparatus. There is no needle or other end. This type of tip may be used for connecting to existing tubing, such as a feeding tube, or for squirting liquid medication into the back of the throat.
Not all syringes are used to inject a substance into the bloodstream. Some syringe tips can be used to insert a solvent onto teeth or even to blow air. Other types of tips are meant for flushing wounds, cleaning ears, and other tasks.
Improperly handled syringe tips pose a serious health hazard. Blood borne pathogens, such as AIDS and hepatitis C, can be transmitted through a syringe. A tip should only be used once. After use, it should be disposed of properly in a biohazard or sharps container. Prompt and careful replacement of the syringe cap can protect against accidental pricks or other exposure to used tips.