Low Dead Space Needles    



Total Dose is a low (intermediate) dead space needle that lowers the risk of viral transmission and the loss of active product.

Diameter of 25G, length 16mm.


Objectives and properties

The term "dead space” refers to the volume of fluid remaining within the needle and between the syringe hub and the plunger. This fluid always contains blood because of two common habits:
  • Lightly pull the plunger before injection to check if the needle is in a vein
  • After injection, drawing some blood into the syringe and injecting it again to retrieve the active product remaining in the dead space volume

As that blood can be contaminated with HIV or HCV, when the paraphernalia is shared, those viruses can be transmitted.
Syringe and needles type has an influence on the viral transmission risk, since the larger the dead space volume is, the riskier it is.


The dead space volume of a combination of a standard Luer syringe and a detachable needle is 72 to 88µl.

Designed to reduce that risk, the Total Dose needle is equipped with a thin plastic tube that fits down into the tip of the syringe, lowering the dead space volume to 54µl.

In comparison, the dead space volume of an insulin syringe is 3µl.

Total Dose reduces the risks of viral transmission by lowering

  • the amount of virus that could be left in the used syringe,
  • the survival time of any virus left in the syringe
  • the need to draw blood into the syringe and injecting it again

Clinical history

Low (intermediate) dead space needles have been developed in 2014 by Exchange Supplies in the UK.

Since 2012, the World Health Organization recommends the needles exchange programs to distribute low dead space paraphernalia to people who injects drugs.