Hypodermic syringe with a spare needle and metal case, late 19th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Hypodermic syringes are used for injecting fluids beneath apatien's skin. Francis Rynd (1801-1861), an Irish physician, invented the hollow needle in 1844. In 1853, Charles Pravaz, a French doctor, developed the first practical metal syringe, and in 1855, Dr Alexander Wood of Edinburgh was the first physician to use a hypodermic syringe to inject narcotics into a patient.