Discharge Instructions: Giving an Intramuscular (IM) Injection in the Hip
Your healthcare provider has
prescribed a medicine that must be given by intramuscular (IM) injection. IM injections
a needle and syringe to send medicine to large muscles in your body. They are usually
in the thigh, hip, or upper arm.
You were shown how to do an IM
injection in the hospital. If you did not get an instruction sheet covering those
steps, ask for one. This sheet reminds you or your caregiver how to give an IM injection
the hip. Another person must help you with this injection.
Name of your medicine:
Amount per injection:
Times per day:
Number of days: ______________________________________
Step 1. Getting ready
Gather your supplies.
Wash your hands well with
soap and clean water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer. The person who is helping
you must also wash his or her hands well.
Prepare your medicine as you were shown by your healthcare provider.
Step 2. Finding an injection site
The person who is helping you can find an injection site on your hip by doing the
The other person will find the place where your thighbone meets your hip. This is
a bony, ball-like area. The other person will place the palm of his or her hand over
this bony area.
The other person’s fingers should point toward the ceiling. Then he or she will make
a V with the ring finger and middle finger.
The bottom point of the V is where the other person’s ring finger and middle finger
The injection site will be between the knuckles on the other person’s ring finger
and middle finger. This is where the needle will be inserted.
The other person will prepare the injection site as you were shown by your healthcare
provider. (See the general instruction sheet on giving yourself an IM injection. If
you did not get this sheet, ask for one.)
Step 3. Injecting the medicine
The other person will stretch your skin tight.
The other person will hold the syringe like a pencil. Then he or she will insert
the needle straight into your skin.
You should have no more than 4 mL of medicine in this site. If the prescribed
dose is more than 4 mL, choose a different site to inject the medicine.
Step 4. Removing the needle
The other person will remove the needle and syringe outward, away from your body.
He or she will let go of your
skin. You or the other person may put a bandage on as needed.
Step 5. After the injection
The other person will put the needle and syringe in a special container (sharps
Dispose of the other materials as you were shown by your healthcare provider.
Wash your hands well. The person who is helping you must also wash his or her
Medicine that comes in a container for a single dose should be used
only 1 time. If you use it a second time, it may have germs that can cause infections. These
infections usually affect the skin and soft tissues. But some infections can affect
the brain, spinal cord, or heart. Sharing another person's used needles or medicines
can cause other infections such as hepatitis B and hepatitis C.
Follow up with your healthcare provider, or as advised.
When to call your healthcare provider
Call your healthcare provider right
away if you have any of the following:
Needle that breaks off at the
Problems that keep you from
getting the injection
Bleeding or severe pain at
the injection site that won’t stop
Medicine injected into the
Rash or swelling at the
Shortness of breath