How Do You Give a Subcutaneous Injection?
A subcutaneous injection is the method used to administer medication under the skin. A short needle is used to inject the drug into the tissue between the skin and the muscle.
- a 1 ml. syringe with a 25 or 26 gauge capped needle between 5/8″ and 1 inch in length,
- the medication to be given,
- two alcohol wipes.
Carefully, wash and dry your hands.
If your medication comes in a multi-dose vial, clean the rubber diaphragm of the vial with an alcohol wipe. Discard the wipe into the trash.
Remove the cap from the needle. Pull down the plunger of the needle until the syringe contains the same volume of air as the medication you are going to give.
Hold the vial upside down at eye level. Without touching the needle, insert it through the diaphragm of the vial.
Keep the tip of the needle below the level of the medication in the vial. Depress the plunger to inject the air into the vial.
Slowly pull down on the plunger to take into the syringe the amount of medication prescribed for you.
Pull the needle out of the vial.
Hold the syringe vertically and flick the barrel with a fingernail to make any air bubbles float to the top under the needle.
Carefully, depress the plunger to push out the air until the first drop of medication comes out of the bevel of the needle.
Clean the injection site with an alcohol wipe. Start at the proposed site. Wipe in a circular motion, moving outward with each circle to prepare an area 2-3 inches in diameter around the injection site. Let the alcohol dry and discard the wipe into the trash.
Insert the needle through the skin at a 45½ degree angle so that the tip of the needle is under the skin and above the muscle layer.
Gently pull back on the plunger to make sure the tip of the needle is not in a blood vessel and then slowly inject the medication.
When all the medication is injected, pull the needle out. There is no need to use a band-aid, unless blood appears at the injection site.
Discard the syringe and attached needle into your puncture proof Sharps container. Do not recap the needle.
Wash and dry your hands.
If during the injection, blood does appear in the syringe when you pull the plunger back, pull the needle out and discard the syringe, needle and medication into your Sharps container and start the whole process again.
Your doctor or nurse will advise you which areas of the body to use for your injections. The injection site should always be rotated so that consecutive injections are never given into the same area.
If you have very little fat under your skin, you can pinch the skin to form a tent, into which the injection can be given.
The needle is then inserted more vertically.