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What is an Intramuscular Injection?
An intramuscular injection, (illustration on right) delivers medication deep into the muscle tissue. This allows the medication to be quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. Intramuscular shots are given at 90 degree angle. Needle for IM injections can be 22-23 Gauge, 1-1.5 inches in length, adjusted for thickness of site.
Setting Up for the Injection
Find a comfortable, well lit working place and inject at the same time each day.
1. Clean your work area.
2. Remove medication from the refrigerator and let it reach room temperature.
3. Make sure it is the medication your doctor prescribed. Check the expiration date on the vial. Do not use a medication with particles, medication that is discolored or is expired. Wash your hands. Hand washing is one of the most important things you can do to prevent infection.
1. Medication in a vial
2. Disposable syringe and needles, one 18 G needle to draw up medication then switch to injection needle (22-23 G; 1-1.5 inch)
3. Alcohol swabs
4. Puncture proof disposal container
Vastus lateralis muscle in the thigh:
Choose this site if are injecting to yourself, or if a caregiver gives you the injection. Look at your thigh and divide it horizontally into 3 equal parts. The injection will go in outer middle third. The thigh is a good place to give yourself an injection because it is easy to see.When another person is giving the injection (picture on the right), the injection location does not change. Form a V with your fingers by separating your first finger from the other 3 fingers. Place the heel of your hand on the bone (femur) that ends before the knee bends and aim the injection right above the V in the center of the thigh.
Gluteus Maximus muscle in the buttocks:
You may choose this site only if a caregiver gives you the injection. To find the correct location for injecting into the Gluteus maximus muscle, expose the buttocks and divide (in your mind) each buttock into four parts. Aim the injection into the upper quarter of the buttock (X on the diagram), towards the hip bone portion.The picture on the left shows the position for self-injection.
How to Give Yourself a Testosterone IM Injection?
Preparing the Injection Dose
1. Take the cap off the vial. Clean the rubber stopper with one alcohol swab. Allow to dry.
2. Check the package containing the syringe, if the package has been opened or damaged, do not use that syringe.
3. Pull the 18 G needle cover straight off the syringe. Then, pull back theplunger and draw air into the syringe. The amount of air drawn into the syringe should be the same amount (mL or cc) as the dose that your doctor prescribed. Do not let the needle touch any surfaces.
4. Keep the vial on your flat working surface and insert the needle straight down through the center of the rubber stopper. Do not put the needle through the rubber stopper more than once.
5. Push the plunger of the syringe down and push the air from the syringe into the vial.
6. Keeping the needle in the vial, turn the vial upside down. Position the needle so the liquid is covering the tip of the needle.
7. Keeping the vial upside down, slowly pull back on the plunger to fill the syringe with the medication to the number (mL or cc) that matches the dose your doctor ordered.
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