How to give an intramuscular injection

An intramuscular injection is used for medicine that needs to be given in the muscle. Intramuscular injections may be necessary due to the amount or type of medicine or because medicine given in these areas are fast-acting. Learn how to safely give an intramuscular injection by following these steps.

Prepare the medicine by checking the expiration date, the dosage needed and wiping the top with an alcohol swab. Check the name to make sure you have the correct medication. Some medications need to be warmed to room temperature before given. Follow all directions on the bottle closely.

Place a new, clean needle into a new, clean syringe. Pull air into the syringe equivalent to the amount of medicine you need. Insert the needle into the bottle, push the air out, turn the bottle upside down and pull the plunger back to get the correct amount of medication into the syringe. Tap the syringe to get any air bubbles to the top near the needle. Push the air out.

Find an area on the body to give the shot. There are four areas on each side of the body that are suitable for intramuscular injections: the thigh, hip, buttocks and upper arm muscle. For the thigh, divide the thigh into three parts between the knee and hip. Use the middle section for an injection site. For the upper arm, find the bone at the top of the arm and the area level with the arm pit. Where these areas meet on the outside of the arm is where to inject the needle. For the buttocks, divide the buttock into four squares. Use the upper outer section of the buttock.

Clean your hands with warm water and soap. Swab the injection site with alcohol and allow it to dry.

Hold the muscle of the injection site firmly between your thumb and fingers. Insert the needle quickly at a 90 degree angle. Pull back slightly on the needle to see if blood is present. If there is blood, remove the needle and start over with a new needle and medication. If there is no blood, inject the medicine slowly.

Remove the needle after a few seconds. Press on the injection site with gauze or a bandage to stop any bleeding.