How to Perform Subcutaneous Injection
Rio is getting nervous. Today, they will be having their discussion about the different methods of injection and tomorrow, there will be a return demonstration. Not only is he afraid of needles, but he is also afraid that he might not get things done the correct way. He always confuses IM injection with subcutaneous injection. However, he knows that they are not the same.
Below are the steps on how to perform an SC injection.
- One alcohol wipe/antiseptic pad
- One sterile 2 x 2 gauze pad
- A new needle and syringe that are the correct size
- Disposable gloves, if you have them
- Prepare the Injection Site. Clean the site with an antiseptic pad using a circular motion from the center point outward about two inches.
- Remove Needle Guard. The needle cover should be pulled straight off. Any twisting motion or a sideward motion may bend the needle. Do not touch the needle. Lay the needle cover on a clean, flat surface
- Stabilize Injection Site. Pinch up tissue on the upper arm or upper thigh, whichever you have chosen:
(1) Pinch the skin gently between the thumb and index finger to form a fold of skin without touching the injection site.
(2) The fold of tissue helps determine the exact size of needle needed. Measure from the fold’s base to its crest and select a needle close to the length of the fold.
- Insert Needle.
(1) Hold the barrel of the syringe between the thumb and the index finger with bevel up.
(2) Insert the needle at a 45-degree angle to the skin. All subcutaneous injections are inserted at a 45-degree angle into the fatty tissue below the skin.
(3) Insert the needle only to three-fourths of the length of the needle using a firm, quick, forward thrust to minimize discomfort.
(4) Release the skin. Release the pinched skin while stabilizing the syringe barrel.
- Aspirate the Syringe
- Inject the Medicine. Press the plunger into the barrel with the thumb slowly and steadily until all medication is expelled. Medication should be injected slowly. Rapid injection will put pressure on the tissue and cause pain.
- Remove the Needle. Place an antiseptic pad slightly above the injection site. Withdraw needle quickly at same 45-degree angle as inserted and bring pad down on injection site.
- Massage the Site. Gently massage the injection site with an antiseptic pad after you remove the needle unless medication guidance indicates otherwise.
(1) Gentle pressure applied to the injection site will help seal punctured tissue and disperse the medication so that it is absorbed readily.
(2) You may use the same antiseptic pad that was used to prepare the site before the injection.
- Cover Injection Site. Place an adhesive bandage over the injection site to protect clothes if bleeding occurs and to prevent infection.
- Perform Post-injection Patient Care.