Emergency Department and Minor Injury Unit
You have been given this information as you are being discharged with a medication which requires you to self-administer it as a subcutaneous injection.
What is a subcutaneous injection?
A subcutaneous injection is a dose of a medication given into the layer of fat between the skin and the underlying muscle. Some medications can be given this way, and some can only be given this way.
Areas that you can give a subcutaneous injection
There are two primary locations that you can self-administer a subcutaneous injection. These are the abdomen and the thigh.
The area within a few inches around your belly button (avoid the belly button)
The space between one hand above your knee and one hand below your groin, towards the outer side of the thigh
How to self-administer the injection
- Wash and dry hands with soap and water
- Clean the area of skin you intend to inject with an alcohol wipe
- Hold the syringe in your dominant hand with the barrel of the syringe between your fingers and your thumb on the plunger
- With your other hand pinch an area of skin between your fingers to create a lump
- Insert the needle all the way into the skin
- Press down the plunger while keeping the needle still
- Use the markings on the barrel to give the amount you have been instructed to
- Remove the needle at the same angle
- Dispose of the needle in the sharps box
- Wipe the area with a piece of gauze
Hints and Tips
Rotate between different body areas for injections
– For example; right abdomen, left abdomen, right thigh, left thigh
– Keep track of where you have injected
– This will help avoid scaring and skin changes
Jab the needle into the skin rather than slowly putting it in.
This will be more comfortable
Keep the needle still while injecting to avoid snapping it
- The James Cook University Hospital, Marton Road, Middlesbrough, TS4 3BW
Telephone: 01642 850850
- The Friarage, Northallerton, North Yorkshire, DL6 1JG
Telephone: 01609 779911
- Redcar Primary Care Hospital, West Dyke Road, Redcar, TS10 4NW
Telephone: 01642 511000
South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust would like your feedback. If you wish to share your experience about your care and treatment or on behalf of a patient, please contact The Patient Experience Department who will advise you on how best to do this.
This service is based at The James Cook University Hospital but also covers the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton, our community hospitals and community health services.