What happens if you hit bone in an inj?

Nurses General Nursing Nursing Q/A

I hit the bone on a very thin old man. I don't think I hit it hard, he didn't notice, but I about lost it. Will there be any residual effects because of this?

21 Answers

Specializes in OB, M/S, HH, Medical Imaging RN.
weeble said:
I hit the bone on a very thin old man. I don't think I hit it hard, he didn't notice, but I about lost it. Will there be any residual effects because of this?:o

I've had that happen to me a couple of times in the past 28 years. As far as I know there is no residual effect. If you had a huge needle like a #18 or larger and really jabbed it in I suppose you could cause some pain but doubt you could break anything. Try not to worry about it. You know how you pull back and get blood and have to start all over? How many have had that happen to you? I've had it happen only twice in 28 years. I am amazed sometimes giving an IM to see the other places where previous injections were given. Way off from the area where the injection is supposed to be. I wonder what in the heck are they thinking?

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho.

I've never hit bone, but ive seen it done. When i was in school the nurse i observed giving the IM did it. She pulled the needle out and it was bent she hit so hard (little overkill there i thought, dont have to use that much force to pierce the skin). I dont think the patient really felt it because they didnt react. When i give a IM to a very thin or fraile person i usually try to either go to the gluteal or if i have to give it in the vastus lateralis i deliberately move to the lateral side of the bone (looking at the leg from the front) and go in from the front of the thigh instead of the side. You still hit plenty of muscle, and dont hit bone.

I doubt there would be any problems with hitting bone unless like was said it was a large bore needle, then you'd have a biopsy. (just kiddin) Your needle is sterile and as long as you waste that one and prepare another there shouldnt be problems.

I've hit bone on LOL's and LOM's with no subq tissue and less muscle -- even using an insulin needle. I just started over. There's not much you can do; with so little muscle/subq tissue you haven't much to work with. I give a lot of tetorifice shots (ED=tentorifice heaven) so sometimes avoiding that skinny deltoid area is just plain impossible.

Haven't had anyone complain, though...good luck.

Once an MD gave me a shot and hit bone (it was a travel immunization, all the nurses in the clinic were busy)- I could feel it, it kind of bounced. He actually laughed and mumbled something about why he doesn't usually do injections. nothing bad came of it, I wouldn't worry.

I hit the bone once in my 12 years as a nurse. I inspected the needle and the bevel tip was intact. No harm came to the LOM. If the bevel tip breaks off inside the pt, then there can be problems.

Specializes in Emergency Dept, M/S.

I've hit bone giving myself an insulin injection. I bent the needle, but not where it hit the bone, but where it attaches to the syringe when I jumped pulling it back out! LOL I think it scared me more than hurt. No permanent harm done though. :chuckle

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.

I hit a bone for the first time the other day too! Freaked me a bit, but no problems that I'm aware of.

Relax. ?

I hit the bone on my tiny baby tortoise :(

He screamed (well, tortoises don't scream, but it was a heartbreakingly noisy gasp). I haven't gotten over that.

He was just this tiny little baby that fit in the palm of my hand, but had a raging respiratory infection and needed antibiotics. It was 3 or 4 years ago now and he doesn't even live with me anymore, and it still makes me feel as awful now as it did then.

Specializes in Education, Acute, Med/Surg, Tele, etc.

I haven't hit a bone either, but I have been the victim! OUCH, and odd sensation! Oh gives me shivers thinking about it!

I try very hard to pick areas, even if I use non-typical sites, and really guage my needles length. I press down when I catch my site with my eyes to see just how far down that bone is, and sometimes I change my site because I feel it is too risky. It comes with practice and certainly not something beyond the scope of oopsie for even the hard core professionals!

From what I hear there is no residual effects of hitting a bone, except for the OUCH and various 4 letter words your clients may utter to discribe their displeasure! LOL!

Do NOT let it bother you so, just use this energy you are using on being upset about it and turn it around to a positive, like finding ways to avoid this unfortunate oppsie (like you are doing right now by asking! :) ). Or tell others about how easy it can be and educate them on things you learned to avoid it. Take a negative and turn it into a positive..then it becomes a win win situation for not only you..but many! Now that is a great use of that emotional energy, and will make you feel so good and helpful!!!! :D

Specializes in Medical.

There's something about the sensaion and disturbing scraping sound that makes me go urk! (I've hit bone maybe three times, always on tiny, elderly people). No probs, I swear - if you don't count the urk factor ?

Specializes in Everything but psych!.

I hit bone once on a very thin patient, using the vastus lateralis site. The patient realized nothing. I just had that yucky feeling like scraping my fingernails on a board! I just pulled the needle back a little and injected. It happens sometimes. Only once in my 28 years. I've hit a vessel twice in 28 years. It was always with an IM medication. Funny how that happens sometimes.

Yep. I hit bone once in ten years, in a thin elderly person (of course). I also aspirated blood once. Both made me feel really bad, but neither pt. had any problems afterwards.


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