Administering a intramuscular injection

Intramuscular injection sites

Intramuscular injections can be given in thigh or the upper outer quadrant of the buttocks.

Insert needle into skin

If injecting into the thigh, the injection should be given from a sitting position.

IM Injection into buttocks location

If the injection is being given in the buttocks, it can be given lying down, or standing with your weight off of the side to be injected, locate the upper outer quadrant of your buttock. The injection is given here.

Sterilize injection area with alcohol

Wipe the site with alcohol. Then let dry.

Insert needle for IM injection

Insert the needle at a 90 degree angle with a smooth dart-like motion. The needle needs to be inserted all the way leaving none of the needle visible.

Draw back the plunger

Draw back on the plunger. If you are accidentally in a blood vessel, blood will appear in the syringe. If so, do not inject. Pull the needle out, dispose of everything, and start the entire process again.

Intramuscular injection

If no blood appears, slowly push the plunger all the way to inject the medication, and pull the needle straight out.
Alternate sides, left or right, each time injections are given.

Apply pressure and massage

Apply pressure and massage the injection site gently for thirty seconds.

Never reuse needles and syringes.

Proper needle disposal

Dispose of the syringe in a biohazard container such as a Sharps container – or in an unbreakable plastic container such as a laundry detergent bottle that you can seal.

Please be aware that some of these instructions may vary slightly based upon your particular situation or preference.