Are you familiar with the 2 main injection techniques?

Arrow or Z-track? We'll talk about the 2 main injection techniques: the standard method and the Z-track.

Injection techniques: the standard method

The first injection technique is the standard method. How does it work? By first stretching the skin on the injection site with the fingers of the free hand, and inserting the needle at a 90 degree angle perpendicular to it, in a quick action similar to an arrow being released from a bow, to minimize the pain.

What are the risks of the standard method?

When using the standard method, there might be some leakage of the drug back up along the path of the needle and into the subcutaneous tissue. Other than the pain, which increases substantially, absorption of the drug by the patient's body is affected.

Injection techniques: Z-track

The Z-track technique requires the use of the free hand to pull the skin and subcutaneous tissue to one side and downwards by about 3 - 4 centimeters relative to the injection site. The injection is done by inserting the needle at a 90 degree angle in one quick action - almost like releasing a dart - and once the liquid has been dispensed, the needle is removed and the skin that's been moved is released.

Muscles like the Z-track technique

The Z-track injection technique creates a zig-zag path that stops the liquid from leaking backwards through the subcutaneous tissue. It's a method that can be used in any appropriate group of muscles, as long as the site has moveable tissue at least 2.5 centimeters thick.

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