544 Health Care Skills
How to inject into the muscle (intramuscular, or IM)
The pictures below show how to inject into the buttock. Steps 2 through 6 are
the same for injections into the arm or thigh.
1. The person should sit or lie down.
Pointing the toes together will relax
the muscle to be injected.
2. Clean the skin with alcohol, or soap
and water (it will hurt less if you let
the alcohol dry before injecting).
4. Before injecting the medicine, gently
pull back on the plunger a little
bit (do not pull
until the plunger
falls out). If
blood enters the
out and put
it back in
somewhere else close by in
the area you have cleaned.
3. Put the needle straight in, all
the way. If it is done with one
quick movement, it hurts less.
5. Pull back on the
If no blood
6. Remove the
How to give an injection under
the skin (subcutaneous injection)
• Grab the fatty part on the underside of the arm.
Hold the skin like this:
• Put the needle under the skin at this
angle. Make sure the needle does not
go into the muscle.
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