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IM and SC injections


Specializes in ICU, medsurg/tele.

I have seen the SC heparin syringes being used to administer IM injections in very thin patients. I understand they are thin and using a normal size IM needle will hit bone and is unncessary. However if you are able to give IM with a SC needle then where is the SC heparin going when you give it? :eek: Is there a smaller needle we should be using?

We call them tuberculin syringes here... I'm not sure if that is a universal name or not. I wouldn't use it for an IM shot, regardless of how fragile or thin the pt is. I'd be too afraid of the needle breaking off into the dense muscle tissue. You are in charge of the needle and can, with a careful technique, inject only part of the needle if needed, or call the doctor and see if there is an alternate route you could try for the pt.

I hate giving sc shots to very thin people. You have to lump together an area large enough to inject into by manipulating the flesh. I have failed this once before by having the needle go from one side of the flesh I was grabbing and jabbing it into the other side of the flesh I as grabbing. Hind sight, I should have placed a butterfly for this particular pt, even if it was just for one shot. Would have allowed for better control.