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Intramuscular Injections

Choosing a Site for IM Injection



  • Potential Sites for IM Injection

  • Deltoid (1-2mL) - 2-3 finger breadths below the acromian in the mid-axillary lineThe small size of this muscle limits the volume injectable
  • Ventrogluteal (2-3mL) - with the palm over the greater trochanter of the femur, make a V shape with the index and middle finger along the iliac crest then inject within the VThis area has good muscle bulk and a lack of nerves / vessels
  • Dorsogluteal (3-4mL) - in the upper quadrant of the buttock, above and lateral to the imaginary line between the greater trochanter and PSISIt is possible to inject a large volume here, but this has the slowest absorption rate
  • Vastus lateralis (2-3mL) - within the lateral middle third of the thigh

Choosing the Right Site

  • Do

  • Use the vastus lateralis where possible
  • Don't

  • Don’t inject through burns, infections or oedema
  • Don’t inject through moles or other skin lesions
  • Avoid the dorsogluteal site in obese patients as subcutaneous injection is likely
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