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Medication Administration: Intramuscular Injection - CE


Follow instructions for SARS-COV2 vaccine administration provided on usmam.org’s inoculation Hub undefinedhttps://usmam.org/en-US/preview/sars-cov2-vaccine" target="_blank" title="TRANSFORM exactly how YOU use DRUG INFORMATION">https://usmam.org/en-US/preview/sars-cov2-vaccine or Clinical key for parenting https://www.clinicalkey.com/nursing/#!/content/drug_monograph/6-s2.0-5295.

Intramuscular (IM) injections have actually been connected with adverse effects and pain, and this route of medication injection should be provided as a last resort. Take into consideration contacting the practitioner because that an alternative, desired route of medication administration.

Take measures to remove interruptions and distractions during medication preparation.


The ns injection course deposits medication into deep muscle tissue, which has actually a affluent blood supply, permitting medication to be took in faster than it would be through the subcutaneous route. This well-off blood supply, however, rises the risk for injecting drugs straight into blood vessels. Any kind of factor the interferes with regional tissue blood flow affects the rate and also extent of medicine absorption.

An im injection might require a longer and larger-gauge needle to permeate deep muscle tissue. The needle is put at a 90-degree angle; this different from the angle provided for subcutaneous and intradermal injections (Figure 1)Figure 1.2 The suitable needle size is identified by the patient’s weight and age and the quantity of adipose organization in the liked injection site (Table 1)Table 1. The needle have to be long enough to reach the muscle tissue, yet not too lengthy to current the risk of hitting basic neurovascular structures or bone.2

Needle gauge is established by the medicine to be administered, the size of the muscle, quantity of fatty organization at the site, and administration technique.2 Immunizations should be administered using a needle v a gauge selection of 22 to 25.2 Vaccines are normally not highly viscous and also will flow quickly through a smaller sized gauge needle.

IM injections need to be administered so that the needle is perpendicular to the patient’s human body or together close to a 90-degree angle together possible.2 im injection website should also be rotated come decrease the threat for hypertrophy. Once possible, ns injections must be avoided in muscles that space emaciated or atrophied because these muscles absorb medication poorly.

Aspiration before injection and slow injection that the medication space not sustained by research study for vaccine administration.1 The vastus lateralis and also deltoid muscle are the just two sites recommended for vaccine administration because this sites execute not contain large vessels that are within reach of the needle.2 For every other medications there is no proof to assistance abandoning the exercise of aspiration before administration. More research is essential to inspection the practice of aspiration prior to administering an im injection with medications other 보다 vaccines.9,10 The recommended route and site for each vaccine is included in the manufacturer’s instructions for use.2

Muscle organization is much less sensitive 보다 subcutaneous tissue to irritating and viscous medications. Smaller sized muscles absorb smaller volumes. Because that a well-developed adult, no an ext than 5 ml the medication should be administered in a solitary IM injection since the muscle tissue does not absorb the well.8 because that “deep” ns injections, the encourage volume varieties from 2 to 5 ml.8 If the patient’s available muscle tissue is limited and the dorsogluteal muscle must be used, quantities of as much as 4 ml deserve to be administered right into this site.8 The ventrogluteal muscle can accommodate up to 2.5 ml, with a preferably volume the 3 ml.8 The rectus femoris and vastus lateralis continue to be the encourage sites for volumes approximately 5 ml in adults.8 A preferably of 2 ml is recommended for older adults and also thin patients.8

The Z-track method can be used (except v infant vaccination where skin is compressed) listed that the overlying tissue can be displaced. This technique, pulling the skin laterally before injection, prevents medication leakage right into subcutaneous tissue, seals medicine in the muscle, and minimizes irritation.6 To usage the Z-track technique in one adult, the appropriate-size needle is attached to the syringe, and also an IM site is selected. The overlying skin and subcutaneous tissues space pulled come the side with the ulnar side of the nondominant hand. The skin is hosted in this place until the injection has actually been administered. After ~ cleansing the site, the needle is injected deep into the muscle and also the medication is injected slowly. ~ the needle is withdrawn, the skin is released. The displacement the the skin and muscle great closes turn off the needle track when the skin is exit (Figure 2)Figure 2.

Injection web page

For im injections, the nurse selects a site that is complimentary of pain, infection, necrosis, bruising, and abrasions. The location of basic bones, nerves, and blood vessels and the volume of medicine to it is in administered are likewise considered. Because of the sciatic nerve location, the dorsogluteal muscle is not recommended together an injection site. If a needle hits the sciatic nerve, the patient may experience partial or irreversible paralysis of the leg.8

Ventrogluteal Site

The ventrogluteal site entails the gluteus medius and minimus muscles and also is a safe injection website for adults and children.6 This site offers the biggest thickness that gluteal muscle, is free of penetrating nerves and also blood vessels, and has a narrow layer that fat.8

The dorsogluteal site is closer to neurovascular frameworks than the ventrogluteal site and is not a recommended website for injection. However, the thickness of the muscle in the dorsogluteal region is higher than muscle in the ventrogluteal region. Selected website for im injections is based upon clinical evaluate of the patient.3

To situate the ventrogluteal site, the hoe of the hand is put over the better trochanter of the patient’s hip v the wrist practically perpendicular come the femur. The appropriate hand is provided for the left hip, and also the left hand because that the right hip. The thumb is pointed towards the patient’s groin, with the index finger pointing come the anterior premium iliac spine, and also the center finger is extended earlier along the iliac crest toward the buttock. The table of contents finger, the middle finger, and the iliac crest form a V-shaped triangle. The injection site is the facility of the triangle (Figure 3)Figure 3. Come relax this site, the patient lies ~ above the side or back, flexing the knee and hip.

Vastus Lateralis Muscle

The vastus lateralis muscle is another injection site used in adults. The muscle is thick and well developed and is situated on the anterior lateral facet of the thigh. It extends, in one adult, indigenous a handbreadth over the knee come a handbreadth listed below the higher trochanter that the femur (Figure 4)Figure 4. The middle third of the muscle is used for injection. To aid relax the muscle, the patient is asked come lie flat, supine, v the knee slightly flexed and foot externally rotated or to i think a sitting position.

Deltoid Muscle

Although the deltoid site is easily accessible, the muscle is no well arisen in many adults. Over there is potential for injury since the axillary, radial, brachial, and also ulnar nerves and also the brachial artery lie within the top arm under the triceps and along the humerus (Figure 5A)Figure 5A (Figure 5B)Figure 5B. This site is provided for small medication volumes and management of regime immunizations in children older than 2 years through acceptable muscle mass and also development.2 If the deltoid website is used, no much more than 2 ml that medication need to be administered at one time.8 The deltoid muscle is the recommended site for constant vaccinations in adults.2

The deltoid muscle is situated by completely exposing the patient’s top arm and also shoulder and also asking the patient to relax the eight at the next or by supporting the patient’s arm and also flexing the elbow. Next, the reduced edge that the acromion process, which creates the base of a triangle in line v the midpoint the the lateral aspect of the upper arm, is palpated, and also the injection site is discovered in the facility of the triangle (Figure 5A)Figure 5A.

Rarely, an disadvantage reaction wake up after immunizations. Reactions may encompass anaphylaxis, anaphylactic shock, and neurologic deficits.1 Vaccine adverse occasion reporting is monitored by the Centers for an illness Control and also Prevention.

If the patient expresses concern concerning the accuracy the a medication, the medication need to not it is in given. The patient’s concern should be explored, the practitioner notified, and the bespeak verified.


carry out developmentally and culturally proper education based upon the desire because that knowledge, readiness to learn, and also overall neurologic and psychosocial state. Describe the procedure for an ns injection, consisting of the function of the injection and also the reason for utilizing the ns route. Describe the dangers related to the procedure, consisting of hematoma formation, nerve injury, and allergic reaction come the medication. Instruct the patient regarding the potential side results of the medication. If the patience requires continuous injections, instruct the patient and a family members member ~ above injection techniques and the prominence of rotating sites to decrease the hazard for hypertrophy. Have actually the patient execute several return demonstrations that medication ready to validate learning. Instruct the patient and a household member to watch injection sites because that complications and also to report symptom to the practitioner immediately. Instruct the patient and a family member to observe for efficiency of the medication and adverse reactions and to report ineffectiveness the the medication and also adverse reactions to the practitioner. Encourage questions and also answer them together they arise.


evaluate carry out hand hygiene prior to patient contact. Don appropriate an individual protective equipment (PPE) based on the patient’s require for isolation precautions or the danger of exposure to bodily fluids. Present yourself come the patient. Verify the correct patient using two identifiers. Evaluate the patient for certain contraindications come receiving im injections and advise the practitioner accordingly. Assess for factors such together muscle atrophy, decreased blood flow, skin condition, and also circulatory shock. Assess the patient’s symptoms before initiating medicine therapy. Evaluate the patient’s knowledge about the medicine to be received. Assess the patient’s history of allergies, including any drug allergies, kind of allergens, and normal allergy reaction. Testimonial the patient’s previous verbal and nonverbal responses to injections. Assess baseline an important signs and also the patient’s medical and medication history. ready Verify the practitioner’s order. testimonial medication reference details pertinent come the medication’s action, purpose, start of activity and peak action, regular dose, and also common side effects and also implications. Attain the medication, examine the practitioner’s order, verify the expiration date, and inspect the medication for particulates, discoloration, or other loss the integrity. execute not use any type of medication the is cloudy or precipitated unless such is shown by that manufacturer as being safe. rally appropriate-size needles, syringes, and other management supplies.


carry out hand hygiene. Don suitable PPE based upon the patient’s require for isolation precautions or the threat of exposure come bodily fluids. Verify the correct patient using two identifiers. Explain the procedure and ensure the the patient agrees to treatment. Check accuracy and also completeness of the medication administration record (MAR) v the practitioner’s initial order. For sure the six rights of medicine safety: ideal medication, appropriate dose, right time, right route, right patient, and right documentation. Usage a bar code mechanism or compare the MAR to the patient’s to know band. take it the medicine to the patience at the ideal time according to the six legal rights of medication safety and also perform hand hygiene. Carry out privacy for the patient. compare the medication label through the MAR one final time in ~ the patient’s bedside. Execute hand hygiene and don gloves. Don additional PPE based on the patient’s require for isolation precautions or the hazard of exposure come bodily fluids. Save a paper or gown draped end body parts not inquiry exposure. Select the ideal site because that injection based upon the patient’s age, muscle organization mass, and medication volume and viscosity. check the skin surface over sites because that bruises, inflammation, or edema. Rationale: Injection sites need to be free of abnormalities the interfere through drug absorption (e.g., bruising, signs connected with infection). note the integrity and size of the muscle. Palpate because that tenderness or hardness and avoid hardened areas. If the patient receives frequent injections, revolve sites. Rationale: Sites used repeatedly come to be hardened from lipohypertrophy (increased expansion in fatty tissue). help the patience to a comfortable position that is suitable for the favored injection site (e.g., sitting, or lied flat, on side, or prone). Rationale: A comfortable position reduces strain on the muscle and minimizes injection discomfort. cleanse the site with alcohol or one antiseptic swab, per the organization practice. Allow the skin to dry completely. Optional: use a vapocoolant spray (e.g., ethyl chloride) because that pain relief just prior to injection. Rationale: A vapocoolant spray reduce pain in ~ the injection site. hold a clean swab or dry gauze between the 3rd and fourth fingers the the nondominant hand. Rationale: The swab or gauze stays readily obtainable for use when withdrawing the needle. remove the needle cap by pulling it directly off. Rationale: Pulling the cap right off prevents the needle from touching the political parties of the cap, thus staying clear of contamination. organize the syringe between the thumb and forefinger that the leading hand as if holding a dart, palm down. Rationale: A quick, smooth injection requires proper manipulation of the syringe parts. provide the injection. Z-track an approach place the ulnar side of the nondominant hand just listed below the site and also pull the skin laterally. Host this position until the medicine is injected. after ~ the needle pierces the skin, use the thumb and forefinger that the nondominant hand to organize the syringe barrel while tho pulling top top the skin. Move the leading hand come the end of the plunger. Avoid moving the syringe. Rationale: Smooth manipulation of the syringe reduces discomfort from needle movement. Skin remains pulled till after medicine is injected to ensure Z-track administration. Optional: If the patient’s muscle fixed is small, understand the body of muscle in between the thumb and forefingers the the nondominant hand while still pulling the skin laterally. Rationale: Grasping the muscle human body helps ensure that the medicine reaches the muscle mass. Pull ago on the plunger. If no blood appears, inject the medication. If blood shows up in the syringe, remove the needle, discard the medication, acquire a new syringe, and shot again. Rationale: Aspiration that blood into the syringe indicates feasible placement right into a vein. Smoothly, quickly, and also steadily withdraw the needle and release the skin. Use a dried cotton sphere or gauze through light press for several seconds over the site. Vaccine management spread the skin taught in between the thumb and forefinger over the selected muscle or grasp the tissue and also bunch up the muscle (commonly provided for youngsters or enlarge adult patients). apply gentle press to the site; perform not massage. Assess the site and also apply a bandage if needed. Rationale: Massage damages underlying tissue. assist the patience to a comfortable position. Continue to be with the patient for several minutes and also observe for any type of allergic reactions. Dyspnea, wheezing, and circulatory collapse are indicators of major anaphylactic reaction. Discard supplies, remove PPE, and also perform hand hygiene. File the procedure in the patient’s record.


go back to the patient’s room at an suitable time every the organization’s exercise to assess the injection site. Report profuse bleeding, hematoma, ns of function, and also signs and also symptoms of infection. monitor the patient because that adverse and also allergic reaction to the medication. Recognize and also immediately treat respiratory distress and circulatory collapse, i m sorry are signs of a serious anaphylactic reaction. Monitor the organization’s practice for emergency response. Report rash, seizures, and challenge breathing. Assess, treat, and also reassess pain.


medication administered according to the six legal rights of medicine safety. Patience experiences no pain or just mild burning at injection site. Patience achieves wanted effect the medication through no adverse reactions, indications of allergies, or undesired effects. Patience demonstrates agree level of lull after injection. Patient explains purpose, dosage, and effects of medication.


Medication no administered follow to the six legal rights of medication safety. Patience complains of localized pain, bleeding, or ongoing burning in ~ injection site, indicating potential injury to nerve or vessels. Medication administered in subcutaneous tissue. Patient display screens adverse reaction to the medication, with indications of urticaria, eczema, pruritus, wheezing, or dyspnea. Other adverse impacts occur: hematoma or abscess; infection; fibrosis of the muscle, organization damage due to the fact that of patience movement during injection; glass corpuscle injected right into muscle together a result of not making use of a filter needle; permanent damage to sciatic nerve resulting in paralysis, fibrosis, or abscess. Patient experiences unmanaged pain.


medication name, dose, route, site, time, and date of administration (with MAR appropriately signed) Patient’s response to medication, including any type of adverse reactions unforeseen outcomes and related interventions education Comfort assessment and also any interventions carry out Patient’s load in kilograms per the organization’s practice


children can be really anxious or fearful of needles. Aid is sometimes necessary to hold and properly place the child. Distraction, such as blowing bubbles and applying pressure at the injection site before giving the injection, may help alleviate the child’s anxiety. If possible, a object analgesic should be used to the injection website with enough time allowed for peak activity before the ns injection. A vapocoolant spray (e.g., ethyl chloride) may also be offered just before injection come decrease pain. Collaborate v the practitioner to mitigate pain before injection. Consider applying a vivid adhesive bandage or sticker to the injection site.


larger adult patients may have lessened muscle mass, i beg your pardon reduces medicine absorption from im injections. Older adults may have loss of muscle tone and also strength that impairs mobility, put them at high threat for drops as a an outcome of guarding one injection site.


think about contacting the practitioner around alternative techniques of medication management when over there is organization atrophy and also poor absorption connected with ns injections. Self-administration that an im injection is difficult. If possible, a family members member need to be trained to administer these injections. Adult patients that require regular injections need to be instructed to use a subject analgesic to the injection site before administration.


Coskun, H., Kilic, C., Senture, C. (2016). The evaluation of dorsogluteal and also ventrogluteal injection sites: A cadaver study. Journal that Clinical Nursing, 25(7-8), 1112-1119. Doi:10.1111/jocn.13171 (Level V) academy for for sure Medication techniques (ISMP). (2020). Target medication safety finest practices because that hospitals. Re-cover April 29, 2021, indigenous http://www.ismp.org/tools/bestpractices/TMSBP-for-Hospitalsv2.pdf (Level VII) Lilley, L.L., Rainforth Collins, S., Snyder, J.S. (Eds.). (2020). Thing 9: picture atlas of medicine administration. In Pharmacology and the nursing process (9th ed., pp. 103-134). St. Louis: usmam.org. Ogston-Tuck, S. (2014). Intramuscular injection technique: one evidence-based approach. Nursing Standard, 29(4), 52-59. Doi:10.7748/ns.29.4.52.e9183 (classic reference)* Sepah, Y. And others. (2014, modification 2017). Aspiration in injections: should we proceed or abandon the practice? (version 3). F1000Research, 3, 157. Doi:10.12688/f1000research.1113.3 Sisson, H. (2015). Aspirating throughout the intramuscular injection procedure: A organized review. Journal the Clinical Nursing, 24(17-18), 2368-2375. Doi:10.1111/jocn.12824 (classic reference)* (Level I) U.S. Food and also Drug management (FDA). (2018). Safely making use of sharps (needles and also syringes) in ~ home, at work and also on travel. Retrieved April 29, 2021, native http://www.fda.gov/medicaldevices/productsandmedicalprocedures/homehealthandconsumer/consumerproducts/sharps/default.htm (Level VII)


Centers for an illness Control and also Prevention (CDC). (2018). Vaccine administration. Retrieved on April 29, 2021, indigenous https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/admin/admin-protocols.html

Kroger, A., Bahta, L., Hunter, P. (2020). General finest practice guidelines because that immunization: ideal practices indict of the Advisory Committee on Immunization methods (ACIP). Re-cover on April 29, 2021, native https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/acip-recs/general-recs/index.html

World health and wellness Organization (WHO). (2015). Guiding values to ensure injection device security. Retrieved on April 29, 2021, native http://www.who.int/infection-prevention/tools/injections/GuidingPrinciple-injection-device-security.pdf (classic reference)* (Level VII)

*In this skills, a “classic” referral is a commonly cited, standard work of developed excellence that significantly affects present practice and may likewise represent the foundational research for practice.

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Adapted indigenous Perry, A.G. And others (Eds.). (2022). Clinical nursing an abilities & techniques (10th ed.). St. Louis: usmam.org.

usmam.org an abilities Levels that Evidence

Level ns - Systematic testimonial of all pertinent randomized managed trials Level II - At least one well-designed randomized regulated trial Level III - Well-designed regulated trials without randomization Level IV - Well-designed case-controlled or cohort researches Level V - Descriptive or qualitative researches Level using - single descriptive or qualitative research Level VII - government opinion or professional committee reports