Question about using an Insulin Syringe to measure mls

  1. 0 Hello,
    I have a question about syringes. I keep getting different answers to the same question in work.
    I am a Hospice nurse, so, in turn I administer a lot of morphine injections. We have 1ml luer lock syringes which we use all the time. Then someone pulled out some insulin syringes stating units on the barrell and told us that we can use these to measure up our morphine doses which we measure in mls. Can you use these syringes for measurements in mls? Someone who knows the true answer, please help.
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  3. Visit  Twinkles2 profile page

    About Twinkles2

    Joined Jan '09; Posts: 7.

    20 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  truern profile page
    0
    I know my 100 unit insulin syringes hold 1 ml, but not sure why anybody would use them to administer 1 ml of medication. That would be the whole barrel full of med which is harder to handle than a syringe actually designed to hold 1 ml.

    Heck, sometimes I have trouble injecting my 70 units of Lantus!
  5. Visit  Twinkles2 profile page
    0
    Thanks for your answer, but what I guess I want to know is can you measures parts of mls in a 1ml Insulin syringe that is labelled units? We give shots made up of .33mls, .5, or .66 mls at times. Aren't these a different measurement than units? How would you measure that on a syringe that is marked units? Still need some input.
  6. Visit  iluvivt profile page
    0
    No you should use a tuberculin syringe or a one ml syringe to administer medication that is less than 1 ml in volume. Technically,an insulin syringe is just that an insulin syringe and really should only be used to draw up insulin. The nurses may be trying to take a short cut or something,but you should be safe and use the proper syringe size.
  7. Visit  Lexxie profile page
    0
    I was taught that you use Insulin syringes ONLY for insulin. An insulin syringe isn't supposed to be interchangeable with any other type of syringe.
  8. Visit  Virgo_RN profile page
    1
    Quote from Twinkles2
    Hello,
    I have a question about syringes. I keep getting different answers to the same question in work.
    I am a Hospice nurse, so, in turn I administer a lot of morphine injections. We have 1ml luer lock syringes which we use all the time. Then someone pulled out some insulin syringes stating units on the barrell and told us that we can use these to measure up our morphine doses which we measure in mls. Can you use these syringes for measurements in mls? Someone who knows the true answer, please help.
    If they are U100 syringes, then 100 units would equal 1mL, 50 units would equal 0.5ml, etc., so yes, you could conceivably use these to measure out small doses of morphine. The question is why would you want to do this? I typically give MS in 1mL increments, usually 2mg or 4mg. Much easier and faster to draw it up into a 10mL NS flush after squirting out however much of the NS is equal to the volume of the MS you're planning to give.
    island40 likes this.
  9. Visit  Twinkles2 profile page
    0
    In response to my latest answer if we can use the insulin syringe to measure up mls. I believe my situation is a little different. We use Sub Q butterflies and draw up very small amounts of morphine from either 10mg/ml or 15mg/ml multi-dose vials. We are not using IVs for administration or normal saline. We draw up small amounts such as .33 = 5mg, or .5 = 7.5mg, etc.. and this is injected via a butterfly that is left in. That is why I am questioning measuring this with units as the measurement vs. mls on the barrell. It makes sense that 50u = .5 of a ml, however, can you measure in between these measurements safely? I would appreciate more input on this matter. So, the new question is: can you measure mls the same as units no matter what amount you need under 1ml safely?
  10. Visit  talaxandra profile page
    0
    We stock 100 unit/ml syringes, though they only go up to .5ml (to reduce the risk of giving too much insulin, which is annoying when patients are on more than 50units, but that's another thread).

    The syringes are marked in 1unit = 0.1ml increments - so you can only give doses in those gradients (ie there's no way to distinguish doses smaller than 0.1ml, like an order for 0.33ml). But something like 0.5ml is the same volume as 50units, provided the syringes are graduates as 100units/ml.

    Clear as mud?!
  11. Visit  morte profile page
    1
    if 100 units=1 ml, then 0.33 mls = 33 units......now, i am going to sound rude/sarcastic....but what is hard about that........
    nurse_mo1986 likes this.
  12. Visit  Virgo_RN profile page
    1
    If you can do basic math, I believe you can, since with U100 syringes, 1 unit is equivalent to 0.01mL.
    nurse_mo1986 likes this.
  13. Visit  talaxandra profile page
    0
    Sorry - somehow I moved the decimal point too far. :imbar Of course 0.33 is 33units. It's the middle of the night here and I'm going to use that as my excuse
  14. Visit  Twinkles2 profile page
    0
    Well, if 1unit is equal to 0.01ml, then the insulin syringe would not work to draw up mls, since we measure our meds as I previously stated..from vials that contain 15mg/ml or 10mg/ml...It would get very confusing converting units to mls. I think when they were put out there for us to use, they were thinking units and mls were the same or something?? Anyways, that is why I refused to use them and they took them off the shelves. If units were the same amount as mls, why would they use units instead of mls for insulin? The syringes even appear much small with a much thinner barrell. Am I right or wrong.
  15. Visit  talaxandra profile page
    1
    My hospital only intermittantly stocks regular 1ml syringes, so for volumes less than a whole ml, particularly when a small difference is important (like a morph dose) we routinely use insulin syringes. Morphine 5mg, supplied as 10ml/ml? No problem - that's half a ml or the equivalent of 50 units.

    I think they don't use mls on the syringe because the insulin is prescribed in units and some idiot could easily given 5ml instead of 5 units - which a couple of junior nurses tried to do here several years ago. At least having specific syringes, graduated in units, reduces that risk.
    MMaeLPN likes this.


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