(d) If 5 cc is to be given, the medication should be divided into 2 doses
and injected into separate sites with a maximum of 2.5 cc per dose.
(e) The needle length should not exceed one and one-half inches. A
one and one-fourth inch needle is commonly used.
(f) If the patient is receiving a number of intramuscular injections over
a prolonged period, the site of injection should be rotated. A record in sites must be
kept on the patient's chart for this purpose.
(g) Expose the buttocks to make sure you do not make an error in
determining the location of the injection. The patient will lie face down with toes
together and heels apart. This position relaxes the muscles of the buttocks (see
Figure 2-2. Patient in prone position for intramuscular injection in the buttocks.
(h) If no bed, cot, or table is available for the patient to lie on, the
patient may be instructed to support himself with a nearby object (such as a chair). Be
sure you can visualize the entire buttocks to assure identification of the injection site.
The patient will lean over and shift his weight to one leg. In this position, the buttock
muscles will relax in the hip not bearing the body weight. You will be able to give an
injection in the gluteus medius muscle with minimal discomfort to the patient.