The Subcutaneous Butterfly

The subcutaneous tissue lies between the skin (epidermis and dermis) and the underlying muscle; it is made up of loose connective tissue and varying amounts of fat.  It also contains cutaneous nerves, small lymph vessels and blood vessels.

 Subcutaneous treatment can be given when treatment is not suitable to be given orally. Subcutaneous treatment can be given in preference to intramuscular medication.

Subcutaneous treatment can be given in preference to intravenous treatment.

medication may be given several times a day into the same site.

The most frequently used sites include

  • Abdomen and chest wall (avoiding the umbilical area)
  • Thighs: upper and lateral aspects
  • Buttocks
  • Upper arms: upper and outer aspects

Subcutaneous injections

  • 1-2mls can be injected as a bolus into a site.

Subcutaneous infusions

  • The abdomen is frequently chosen for infusion of larger volumes.  However, many individuals do not like the thought of having needles in their abdomen.
  • Erythema and swelling at the site of infusion

http://www.ich.ucl.ac.uk/clinical_information/clinical_guidelines/cpg_guideline_00154

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