What is a subcutaneous injection?
A subcutaneous injection is given in the fatty layer of tissue just under the skin.
Preparing for your Injection:
• Wash your hands with soap and water.
• Gather all the items you need and take them to a table.
• Sit down in a chair next to the table.
• Check the medication name and expiry date on the vial.
• Check the amount of medication to be taken.
Filling the Syringe
1. Mix the content of the vial if required.
2. Clean the rubber stopper of vial with an alcohol swab.
3. Unwrap the needle and syringe and join them together tightly
4. Put air into the syringe by pulling down on the plunger of the syringe to the amount of medication to be taken.
5. With the vial upright, put the needle into the rubber stopper and inject air into the vial.
6. Turn the vial upside down.
7. Pull back the plunger to beyond the prescribed dose level. Make sure the end of the needle is in the liquid.
8. “Flick” syringe to remove air bubbles with your fingers or a pen.
9. Move the plunger to the prescribed dose level on the syringe.
10. Turn vial upright and remove needle
11. Rest syringe on needle cap or put the needle cover back on the needle.
• A subcutaneous (SC) injection deposits medication into the fat tissue below the skin.
• You can inject into the:
• abdomen (except for one inch around the navel)
• upper outer area of thighs
A family member or caregiver may also inject into:
• upper outer area of arms
Change where you give the injection each time. The new site should be at least 1-2 inches away from the last injection site.
Cleaning the Injection Site:
1. Wash the area with soap and water or alcohol swab. Allow the skin to dry.
2. Place the swab on a clean surface to use again when withdrawing the needle.
Subcutaneous (SC) Self-Injection:
1. Pick up the syringe. If needed, remove the needle cover. Hold the syringe with the needle up and push the plunger just slightly so that you can see a drop of liquid at the end of the needle.
2. Pinch your skin and fat tissue with your nondominant (weaker) hand.
3. Hold the syringe in your dominant (stronger) hand, as if holding a pencil, one inch above the injection site at a 90 degree angle to the skin. Quickly dart (stab) the needle through the skin into the fat tissue.
4. Use your non-dominant (weaker) hand to slowly push down on the plunger to inject the medication.
5. Put the alcohol swab or tissue on your skin near the needle and quickly pull the needle out. You may have slight bleeding from the site. This usually means you have broken a small blood vessel under the skin. Press gently on the site.
• Place used drug containers, syringes and needles in a hard plastic resealable container (Sharp’s container). Check with your provider/pharmacy/DOH website for specific disposal instructions.