How to Use a Syringe and Needle to Give an Intramuscular Injection
If you or a loved one has a medical condition that requires intramuscular injections to be done at home on a regular basis, it can seem overwhelming. Even patients who do not have a fear of needles cringe at the thought of someone giving them a shot at home. It is actually easy to give the intramuscular injection at home when you have the proper supplies, including the right size syringe and needle to properly inject the medication.
The supplies needed for an intramuscular injection include the medication, liquid to dissolve the medication, alcohol pads, gauze, band-aids and a properly sized syringe and needle. Take your time to read the directions on the medication before administering the injection to determine exactly how much liquid should be used in the medication. This will determine what size syringe is required for your injection. Choosing a syringe that does not hold the proper amount of liquid will result in an improperly administered medication.
Before getting the patient ready, you will need to mix the liquid and the powder medication to fully dissolve it. You will need to use a needle to withdraw the liquid from its vial and dispense it into the powder medication. Once the medication is dissolved, you withdraw the medication back into the syringe. At this point, you need to switch the needles so you have a sanitary needle that has not been used on anything.
Administering the Medication
When it is time to administer the shot, you need to locate the area of the injection. An intramuscular injection typically goes in the outer, upper quadrant of the buttocks. The area you choose should be clean and free from scars or any injuries. Once you select the site, clean it with the alcohol pad and let it dry. Once the area is dry, spread the skin and inject the needle as you would a dart with a quick motion. Once the needle is properly injected, push down on the syringe plunger to dispense the medication and remove the needle.
Once you have completed the injection, it is important to properly dispose of the syringe and needle in a sharps container. Needles should never be disposed of in the regular garbage. If you do not have a sharps container, you can ask your doctor how you should properly dispose of your medical waste.