Taking a Sub-Cutaneous Injection

* The diagrams and descriptions’ shown below are for the sake of concept understanding of taking a Sub-Cutaneous’ injection &may not conform to the actual product, which is a ‘Pen Device’ and very easy to use.

Q-1: What is a subcutaneous injection?

A subcutaneous injection is an injection given into the fat layer between the skin and muscle. Subcutaneous injections are used to give small amounts and certain kinds of medicine’s like, Insulins, hormones etc.

Q-2: How many type of ways can an injection be given to a patient?

There are 3 days of injection a medicine to a patient, depending upon the delivery requirement of the drug to be injected to the patient: (Diagram Shown)

  1. Sub-Cutaneous
  2. Intra-Muscular
  3. Intra-Dermal

Q-3: Where can I give a subcutaneous injection?

The following are sites where you can give a subcutaneous injection

  • Abdomen: Uncover your abdomen. You may give an injection within the following area: below the waist to just above the hip bone and from the side to about 2 inches from the belly button. Avoid the belly button.
  • Thigh: Uncover the entire leg. Find the area halfway between the knee and hip and slightly to the side. Gently grasp the area to make sure you can pinch 1 to 2 inches of skin.
  • Lower back: Uncover the back from the waist to the top of the buttocks. Imagine a line that runs across the back just above the crack between the buttocks. An injection may be given below the waist and above this line. Give the injection halfway between the spine and the side.
  • Upper Arm: Uncover the arm to the shoulder. Have the person getting the injection stand with his hand on his hip. Stand next to and a little behind the person. Find the area halfway between the elbow and shoulder. Gently grasp the skin at the back of the arm between your thumb and first 2 fingers. You should be able to grasp 1 to 2 inches of skin.
  • Q-4: How do I choose the best place for a subcutaneous injection?

    • Keep track of where the injections are given: Make a list of the sites you can use. Write down the date, time, and the site each time you give an injection.

    • Change sites for the injections: It is important to use a different site each time you give an injection. This prevents scars and skin changes. The sites where injections are given should be at least 1 inch away from each other. Ask your caregiver if you need to inject the medicine in a certain site.

    Q-5: What do I need to give a subcutaneous injection?

    • One alcohol wipe
    • One sterile 2 x 2 gauze pad
    • A new needle and syringe that are the correct size
    • Disposable gloves, if you have them

    Q-6: How do I give a subcutaneous injection?

    Subcutaneous injections can be given straight in at a 90 degree angle or at a 45 degree angle. Give the injection at a 90 degree angle if you can grasp 2 inches of skin between your thumb and first finger. If you can grasp only 1 inch of skin, give the injection at a 45 degree angle.

    • Open the alcohol wipe: Wipe the area where you plan to give the injection. Let the area dry. Do not touch this area until you give the injection.
    • Prepare the needle: Hold the syringe with your writing hand and pull the cover off with your other hand. Place the syringe between your thumb and first finger. Let the barrel of the syringe rest on your second finger.
    • Grasp the skin: With your other hand, grasp the skin.
    • Insert the needle into the skin: Hold the syringe barrel tightly and use your wrist to inject the needle into the skin. Once the needle is all the way in, push the plunger down to inject the medicine.
    • Pull out the needle: Remove the needle at the same angle you put it in. Gently wipe the area with the gauze pad.

    Q-7: How do I get rid of used needles?

    It is important to dispose of the needles correctly. Do not throw needles into the trash. You may receive a hard plastic container made especially for used needles. You can also use a soda bottle or other plastic bottle with a screw lid. Make sure that the needle fit into the container easily and cannot break through the sides. Ask your health care professionalon guidelines for getting rid of used needles.