Hi a staff nurse asked me the following question and I really could not give a very good answer: "should we swab the skin with an alcohol wipe before a S/C injection? if not then why not?"
What are your thoughts on this one?
May 24, '00
The reason that I have been told is that you need to clean the site to remove any bacteria or dirt. (this is the old nursing school answer. =o) Although I do know a lot of people who take insulin and various other medications at home and they do not use alcohol....they say that it makes the injection hurt more. When I give SQ injections I personally use alcohol, but do let it dry a second before giving the injection.
Jan 14, '04
In response to your question using alcohole wipes before giving subcut injection in standard policy in england, though it is not set in stone. But when it comes to giving insulin in a subcut they strongly advise againt using alcohole wipes (even using them then letting the site dry) due to the alcohole containing sugar and this can affect the reading
Jan 14, '04
I use etoh swabs prior to any injection in acute settings. It does however take a full three minutes for the etoh to dry in order to kill any "germs". I swipe the area that Im going to do sc or any infection and then do some other care of tx prior to giving the injection. For pt's at home, I do not see a reason to swipe with the etoh. They are in their own space with the enviorment that their bodies are used to. But I always teach to at least have the area clean.
Jun 14, '09
New research does advise that etoh wipes should not be used prior to s/c injections due to skin hardening at the site. Damage cannot be caused from the patients own skin flora, unless the patient is particularly dirty, when the patient should be advised to wash with soap and water rather than use etoh swabs.