What is the nickel content of hypodermic needles?

Posted , 3 users are following.

I have several allergies and have been aware that I am sensitive to nickel but, the latest thing appears to be a reaction to hypodermic needles.

I had to have my bloods done today.  I have to have them done every 4 weeks and for the past 2 times,  the needle has caused me a lot of pain.  Today, however, the Phlebotomist put some cotton wool on my arm and told me to apply some pressure and when she looked, there was a bright red patch.  She immediately thought I was 'allergic' to cotton wool.  Actually,   I think it is the needle and its nickel content.

Does anyone have any views on this?

I am due to see a Consultant [Dermatologist] but my appt hasn't come yet,  so I thought I would run it past you first!

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    I do have and allergy to nickel, but do not know the ammount in the needles. It has never been a problem, I have just avoided wearing gold, which always contains nickel ( to harden it). However, in June, I had a cataract operation at southampton eye hospital, and knew I had to accept the instrument which they clip your eye apart with. The anaethesist insisted that type of allergy was impossible. I also insisted that I did not have the injected anaesetic because of the needle, and asked for the drops to numb it instead. He did not like that, but, I of course knew he was wrong. The effect was awful. (because of the clip) Within a few hours I had such a dramatic effect on my operated eye, that I am sure this has some bearing on the fact that my eye is still causing me major problems. So I know that is possible in your case. Nickle is put into many types of metal to harden it. Many metals, like gold, would be just to soft to use/wear. What I would like to know, just as you have asked, what % is put into surgical instruments. Does anyone know the answer to that.
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  • Posted

    Thank you for your reply Bumblebea,  I think I will have do do some more research.  I have bought nickel free cutlery and from the cutlery point of view, which is stainless steel but without nickel, the nickel stops it rusting, so when it has been in the dishwasher, for example, it needs to be dried straight away, to prevent rust forming.


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  • Posted

    I have just spoken to my sister who is a dental nurse. She tells me that hypodermic needles can be coated with nickel, she does not know what percentage that would be. Also tells me the problem seems more prevelant in India.

    Google nickelinstitute as well and see if there is any information there

    Taz xxx

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    • Posted

      Found this "Tell doctors and hospitals – Always let doctors or anyone who is treating you for any medical emergency know that you have a nickel allergy as some instruments may contain nickel. Stainless steel can contain small amounts of nickel." Hypodermic needles are stainless steel and a forum user from another site I am on has commented "have had dramas with surgical steel – not always, just certain things"
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    • Posted

      Thank you for all of this, it's very useful.

      I have bought nickel free stainless steel cutlery, if you look at the back of cutlery, you will see 18/00 that means it is nickel free, the stainless steel with nickel has 18/8 or similar, the second number is the amount of nickel.

      I have come to the conclusion that I don't have a huge problem with new stainless steel but as it ages, that is when I have the problems.

      The Indians seem to put a lot of time and effort into Dermatology.  I have come across a lot of info from them, regarding all things dermatological,  thank you Taz!


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