Intramuscular (IM) Injections

IM injection sites

  1. faster absorption that sub Q due to greater vascularity of muscle

  2. weight and amount of adipose tissue can influence needle site selection

  3. obese clients may require a 7.5cm long needle

  4. thin clients may require a 1.3-2.5cm needle

  5. 90 degree angle for IM

  6. healthy average sized pt can tolerate a 3mL dose into a large muscle

  7. Children and seniors can tolerate 2mL

  8. Small children and large infants 1mL


Site selection factors:

  1. free or infection or necrosis

  2. free of local bruising or abrasions

  3. location of underlying bones, nerves and major blood vessels


Common Muscle Groups for IM injection Sites


  1. Gluteus medius

  1. Vastus Lateralis

 3. Dorsogluteal

 4. Deltoid



Perry, A, G, Potter, P, A, Ross-Kerr, J, C and Wood, M, J. 2006. Canadian fundamentals of nursing. 3rded. Toronto: Elselvier


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