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Vastus Lateralis


Specializes in ER, LTC, IHS. Has 4 years experience.

I have always kind of had difficutly landmarking injection sites. The other day we had police bring in a psych pt and she got put in 4 point restraints. When the "b52" was ordered I found it easiest to inject in her vl. Later I tried it on a couple other pts and it seemed to work better not only for me but for them as well. I was just wondering if many of you routinely use this injection sites on adults.

Edited by chelynn

mamamerlee, LPN

Specializes in home health, dialysis, others. Has 35 years experience.

I love thighs!!!!

Stacy in North Texas

Specializes in L&D and OB-GYN office. Has 14 years experience.

The VL is great, just be sure to know the best route of admin for the particular drug you are giving. For example, I often give Depo Provera IM injections, but the manufacturer recommends giving it in one of the gluteal muscles.

Emergency RN

Specializes in ED, CTSurg, IVTeam, Oncology. Has 30 years experience.

lol, i remember one sickle cell patient, whose muscles were so damaged and scarred by the repeated im shots into them, have a needle that i was trying to insert for injection, actually bounce off her thigh. it was the only time in my life that i'd ever seen that. :uhoh3:

yes, the vastus lateralis is fine, especially in a busy overcrowded ed, with limited privacy, and you don't want to show someone's butt. i've also given patients emergency shots in the vl (while they were held down by other staff) right through their clothes. :eek:

*** sidebar *** for the uninitiated: "b52" is ed "speak" for benadryl 25mg im/iv, haldol 5mg im/iv, ativan 2mg im/iv; generally given for emergency sedation.

Edited by Emergency RN


Specializes in CT-ICU, ER, Surgical. Has 2 years experience.

Oh yeah! B52 right through the jeans! I just wish it would work faster! :up::up:


Specializes in A myriad of specialties.

I have to say I've NEVER used the vl; usually the gluteals. Also never heard of a "B52" so thanks, EmergencyRN, I learned something today!:heartbeat

The VL is my favorite injection site! It is the one I choose most often for IM. I do use the gluteal for Penicillin injections. About the only time I use the Deltoid is for tetanus injections.


Specializes in ER. Has 3 years experience.

I love the vastus lateralis too! I use it alllll the time in adults. It is much easier to get to than the gluet.

I usually do it for kids. Its harder for them to get away from me and the muscle pops out quite nicely.

Oh yeah! B52 right through the jeans! I just wish it would work faster! :up::up:

I got in trouble for doing that to a drunk pt who kicked me in the stomach .(security wasn't holding her down well enough) Charge nurse scolded me for not using sterile technique. Give me an effin break. I would do it again if I had to.

Virgo_RN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Cardiac Telemetry, ED.

I go for the deltoid or the ventrogluteal. I would go for the VL if the patient was uncooperative, though. It's just easier.


Specializes in Trauma/ED, SANE/FNE, LNC. Has 16 years experience.

when it comes to a combative drunk in restraints, right in the thigh! and through the jeans:yeah:

Never heard of a B52 - so thanks for that tidbit.

As for the VL - gotta love it


Specializes in ED. Has 5 years experience.

So this B52 thing,

mix together in one syringe? Can't imagine them letting you get 3 sticks.

Also, the other day I gave someone a solumedrol injection in the ventrogluteal, did my landmarks- did everything per the book, and the patient complained of severe pain down her leg, barely able to bear weight. Called my preceptor in (I'm a new grad in the ED) and the MD, had the pt ambulate, neither thought it a big deal. I was a bit scared I gave her nerve damage (didn't let the pt see my distress of course)!! and I thought I was being a good nurse cause I DIDN't give it in her dorsogluteal because of the danger of hitting the sciatiac nerve..... any feed back?

tewdles, RN

Specializes in PICU, NICU, L&D, Public Health, Hospice. Has 31 years experience.

VL is ideal site for many IM injections in many age groups.


Specializes in ER/EHR Trainer. Has 6 years experience.

Use deltoid for 1ml or less

Love Vastus Lateralis use it for all others if patient will allow. I was advised in nursing school there is an association with IM injections and sciatica...not getting sued over that. The patient doesn't have to sleep or sit on a lump. JMHO