iPhoneOgraphy – 24 Jan 2016 (Day 24/366)
A syringe is a simple pump consisting of a plunger that fits tightly in a tube. The plunger can be pulled and pushed along inside a cylindrical tube (called a barrel), allowing the syringe to take in and expel a liquid or gas through an orifice at the open end of the tube. The open end of the syringe may be fitted with a hypodermic needle, a nozzle, or tubing to help direct the flow into and out of the barrel.
Syringes are often used to administer injections, insert intravenous drugs into the bloodstream, apply compounds such as glue or lubricant, and measure liquids.
The word “syringe” is derived from the Greek (syrinx, meaning “tube”) via back-formation of a new singular from its Greek-type plural “syringes”.
The ancient Greeks and Romans knew injection as a method of medicinal delivery from observations of snakebites and poisoned weapons. There are also references to “anointing” and “inunction” in the Old Testament as well as the works of Homer, but injection as a legitimate medical tool was not truly explored until the 17th century. Christopher Wren performed the earliest confirmed experiments with crude hypodermic needles, performing intravenous injection into dogs in 1656. These experiments consisted of using animal bladders (as the syringe) and goose quills (as the needle) to administer drugs such as opium intravenously to dogs. Wren and others’ main interest was to learn if medicines traditionally administered orally would be effective intravenously. In the 1660s, J.D. Major of Kiel and J.S. Elsholtz of Berlin were the first to experiment with injections in humans. These early experiments were generally ineffective and in some cases fatal. Injection fell out of favor for two centuries.