Flu shot/Pneumonia shot in same arm?

  1. Is it okay to put these vaccines in the same arm? I tried looking this up I can't seem to find anything about it. Thanks.
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    About sMoLsNurse, BSN, RN

    Joined: Apr '10; Posts: 206; Likes: 170


  3. by   systoly
    I prefer to use both arms in case there's a reaction to one of the two.
  4. by   sMoLsNurse
    Yea, that's probably the best reasoning. I ended up giving the flu/pneumonia in the same arm to two patients, and they both had reactions. I feel horrible about it...
  5. by   MJB2010
    Quote from systoly
    I prefer to use both arms in case there's a reaction to one of the two.
    In nursing school we were taught one per arm so if there is a reaction you know which one it was. At my former hospital this policy was not followed, they were often given both in one arm and when there was a reaction they never knew which one it was. It happens, I stick with one per arm.
  6. by   Flo.
    Different arms.
  7. by   SomedaySoonNY
    I just had both administered to me recently. The PA in charge of my care gave me other immunizations one in each arm for the reason listed above (I had to go and get a ton of them over the course of a couple weeks), but the tech that gave me the flu and pnemonia shots gave them to me both in the same arm. It hurt a bit, but over all I made it through just fine with no reactions.
  8. by   roma4204
    My policy says if it's the same day they have to be different arms
  9. by   caliotter3
    Last flu clinic I worked, we offered the pneu vacc too. We were instructed to use both arms. It just seems to make sense.
  10. by   hecallsmeDuchess
    I usually give them on different arms, just kind of always made sense to me that way...
  11. by   hotflashion
    My agency recommends different limbs but says you can do up to two injections in the same arm if you have to. They recommend spacing the injection sites by 1-2 inches so that local reactions can be differentiated.
  12. by   Zookeeper3
    my hospital policy does Not recognize localized irritation as a "reaction". Depending upon the manufacturer you research, localized redness, swelling bruising, pain are common to administration sites.

    What type of localized reaction are you watching for to classify it as such? Just curious.

    We classify reactions as hives, not at insertion site, and all the anaphylactic signs.

    Now hives at injection site that spreads to the trunk is different.

    I'm just not getting the reason to cause two arms to hurt, and not understanding "watching for reactions".

    If a patient gets two immunizations, no matter where the site and has a reaction it is impossible to know which one caused it with out giving an independent test dose of each.

    This separate arm thing seems like nursing school BS.

    A reaction is an immune system mediated response that does not simply portray itself at the insertion point. I'm not sold.
    Last edit by Zookeeper3 on Oct 7, '11
  13. by   hotflashion
    I've asked the question about same arm injections at Medline Plus. I'll let you know what they have to tell me.
  14. by   cometnurse
    I recently had to get three vaccinations at one time(travel clinic). They gave me two in one arm and one in the other. We do not have a policy stating that you need to give injections in separate limbs. I remember my arm was so sore I could hardly lift it up by the end of the day but otherwise there is no contraindication to doing this.