Most syringes for injections or for accurately measuring oral medication are calibrated in milliliters (ml), also known as cc (cubic centimeters), as this is the standard medication unit. The syringe most used in the routine is the 3 ml syringe, but smaller syringes like 0.5 ml and larger syringes like 50 ml are also used. The reading is done by gradations on the side of the syringe in fractions of ml, depending on the size of the syringe. Each syringe size – from the smallest of 3 ml, to syringes between 5 and 12 ml and above 12 ml – has its own gradations.

How to Read in ML in a Syringe

How to Read in ML in a Syringe

3 ml syringes

Step 1

Insert the liquid into the 3 ml syringe by placing the tip or needle of the syringe into the liquid, then pulling on the plunger. Position the syringe so that the tip or needle is pointing up and make sure you can read the numbers on the side of the syringe as you would read on a printed page.

Step 2

See the value marked between each of the two long lines, where the upper part of the plunger ring (the ring next to the mouth or needle of the syringe) is attached. The last long thread near the tip or needle is ground zero.

Step 3

Count the number of short lines from the top of the plunger ring to the nearest mark (long line), whole or just half, above. Add 0.1 ml to the brand number and to each line you counted.

Step 4

Use the following examples as a guide for Step 3, keeping in mind that you are reading the syringe with the tip of the needle up. If the upper ring remains three lines below the upper line on the syringe side, there are 0.3 ml of liquid in the syringe (0 + 0.3 = 0.3). If it remains on a line below the 2.5 mark, there is 2.6 ml of liquid in the syringe (2.5 + 0.1 = 2.6). If it is three lines below the 1.5 mark, there is 1.8 ml of liquid in the syringe (1.5 + 0.3 = 1.8).

0.5 and 1 mL syringes

Step 1

Repeat Step 1 of Section 1.

Step 2

See how many short lines you have between the plunger ring and the nearest long line above the ring, while you hold the syringe with the tip of the needle facing up.

Step 3

Calculate the amount of liquid by counting 0.05 ml for each long line, and 0.0l ml for each short line from the zero line next to the syringe needle to the plunger end point

Step 4

Use the following examples: if the plunger ring stops on a large line and two small lines from the top of the syringe body, it means that there is 0.07 ml of medicine in the syringe. Remembering that the line closest to the needle is zero, so that if the plunger ring stops two short lines below this line, there is 0.02 ml of liquid in the syringe. If the plunger ring stops three large and four small lines below the zero line, it means that there is 0.19 ml of liquid in the syringe.

5-12 ml syringes

Step 1

Repeat Step 1 of Section 1.

Step 2

Note that the position of the plunger ring is very close to the tip or needle of the syringe and also to the nearest number. Remember that the line closest to the tip is the zero line.

Step 3

For each line below the integer that the plunger ring remains, count 0.2 ml. Three lines below the number 3 mark equals 3.6 ml and one line below the number 9 mark equals 9.2 ml. Four lines below the zero line equals 0.8 ml.

Larger syringes

Step 1

Repeat Step 1 of Section 1.

Step 2

Repeat Step 2 from Section 3.

Step 3

Count 1 ml for each line below and above the numbered line closest to the plunger ring. If the top of the plunger stops three lines below the line marked “5”, then there are 8 mL of liquid in the syringe. If it stops two lines below the line marked “15”, then there are 17 ml of liquid in the syringe.

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