What is this syringe-like thing?
March 17, 2013 11:54 AM   Subscribe

What is this syringe-like thing?

I found a bunch of these things buried in my back yard.


I found one of the cylinders first without the cap and thought maybe they were some sort of plant-food dispenser, but then I found the caps which say:


The text in the middle seems to say:

3 CC
23 1

I'm guessing this is something medical and the fact that it's buried makes think it was something illegal. Any information would be appreciated!
posted by DrumsIntheDeep to Health & Fitness (13 answers total)
When the doctor has sent home syringes for our pets (non-needle ones, for dispensing medicine), they come inside these -- I looked all over the internet for "syringe container", "syringe holder" , but couldn't find pictures. But, that's what it is: you get a syringe, it comes in one of these. There's nothing inherently illegal about them, but it could be that a druggie tossed these in a hole in the yard after using the syringes. Or, maybe a vet with poor disposal procedures lived there before you. Or a diabetic. Who knows, the syringes look like they're long gone.
posted by AzraelBrown at 12:03 PM on March 17, 2013

Here's a picture of the holder for a disposable 3cc syringe. Look at the image labeled "Disposable Syringe With Needle Luer Lock 3CC-27G"
posted by sciencegeek at 12:06 PM on March 17, 2013

Aha, the word is "rigid pack" -- here's a whole bunch of examples.
posted by AzraelBrown at 12:06 PM on March 17, 2013

How long have you lived there? Do you own or rent? Is there drug activity in your neighborhood?
posted by item at 12:42 PM on March 17, 2013

3 CC = 3 milliliter capacity
23 1 = 23 gauge needle, 1" long
I've searched for the part number on a few medical supply distribution sites but am not finding anything. The styling of the plastic looks old to me but that's just a feeling on my part (could be the dirt making me think that too).

Typical insulin syringes are 28 gauge and 1/2 to 1 milliliter capacity so I'm doubting these were used by someone with diabetes. These seem a bit large for drug use too but I'm no expert there ;).
posted by bobobox at 1:15 PM on March 17, 2013

This is a photo of the kind of syringe that would come in one of those containers. That needle is the size of a small screwdriver. Maybe it was for an elephant? Do you know if the previous owners kept elephants? Perhaps they were racing the elephants, and dosing them with steroids using screwdriver-sized syringes.
posted by brina at 1:36 PM on March 17, 2013 [4 favorites]

Its just the plastic sleeve that holds a syringe. Can probably be recycled.
posted by Nickel Pickle at 1:38 PM on March 17, 2013

I wish you had a pic of the non-cap end. It looks very much like the vials used in the OR or Lab for blood or marrow samples. See here.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 1:59 PM on March 17, 2013

It could be that someone was given their tooth or other small body part/ specimen/look-at-this-thing-they-pulled-out-of-my-foot in one of these vials to take home. Too expensive to use sterile tubes/vials for illegal street substances.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 2:02 PM on March 17, 2013 [2 favorites]

That is the plastic housing for a 3 cc syringe that came with a pre-attached needle. We used to have those exact syringes in our OR before we changed to a brand that comes in a paper/plastic sleeve. If I get a chance I will see if I can find some pic from the manufacturer. (B-d or Monoject, I can never keep them straight).
posted by TedW at 5:07 PM on March 17, 2013

Thanks for all information everyone! It is very kind of all of you to take the time to answer and dig up pictures. I was mainly concerned with whether the things would be hazardous to handle and if they pointed to meth manufacturing. From all of your answers it appears that neither is the case. Next I'll dig up the area and make sure the accompanying needles are not lurking there in the dirt for the kids to find.

PorcineWithMe: here is the non-cap end. It is open (not-sealed). The cap-end is just held on with friction (it doesn't screw on nor lock in place).

Brina: if they had any elephants, they must have been very small.

Item: I bought the place a few months ago. It's your basic suburban middle-class tract neighborhood.
posted by DrumsIntheDeep at 5:23 PM on March 17, 2013

A 3 cc, 23g syringe is highly unlikely to be used for injecting illicit drugs. 23g is more likely for injecting hormones or steroids than anything you're trying to get into a vein. That's based on my years of volunteering at a local needle exchange. And, as others have said, what you have is just the case, not the syringe.
posted by gingerbeer at 6:06 PM on March 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

I wouldn't worry too much about the material you have found (although I might be curious as to why it is there). A major reason why it is hard to find pictures of your exact syringe containers as well as why I haven't seen them in a while is that they are for syringes with "normal" needles. Since the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act of 2001, needles and other sharps (IV catheters, etc) without built in mechanisms to prevent accidental sticks have become increasingly scarce. I would guess your containers are at least 10 years old.
posted by TedW at 8:23 PM on March 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

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