Everything you ever needed to know about different types of injections

There are three different types of injections, and the type of injection you receive essentially depends on what type of medication is being delivered.  There are many different reasons a doctor may order an injection.  The most common reason for injections, especially in children, is vaccinations.  Most states have a schedule they require pediatricians to follow when administering vaccinations to children.  Anyone travelling out of the country should also make sure their vaccinations are up today before they leave.  Another very common reason for an injection is the delivery of pain medication.  In cases where the pain is very acute, doctors may decide to inject pain medication so it will act more quickly and in a particular area of the body.

An intramuscular injection is delivered right into a muscle.  Doctors prefer to use this type of injection to deliver medication that acts very quickly and lasts for a long time.  Doctors may also recommend an intramuscular injection for medication that irritates other types of tissue.  An intramuscular injection essentially deposits medication into the muscle, and that medication is slowly absorbed into the bloodstream.  It’s the safest, easiest, and best tolerated of all the three different types of injections.  The most common sites of intramuscular injections are the buttocks, thigh, and upper arm.  Although many people tense up at the mere thought of getting an injection, it’s very important for those getting an intramuscular injection to relax their muscles.  Tense muscles can make the pain of this type of injection last longer.

The second of the three different types of injections is the subcutaneous, or SQ, method of injection.  The subcutaneous injection is ordered when the absorption rate of the medication needs to be slower than medication that is delivered through an intramuscular injection.  The needle essentially passes through the two upper layers of skin to reach the fatty tissue below.  This type of injection is also used for smaller amounts of medications and those that do not easily irritate tissues of the body.  Insulin is one of the most common medications that is delivered through a subcutaneous injection.  The most common areas for a subcutaneous injection are the upper arm, upper leg, and buttocks areas. 

The third of the three different types of injections is the intradermal, or ID, method of injection.  This method essentially delivers just a small amount of flew into the second layer of skin, which is called the dermis.  The intradermal injection is often used for diagnostic purposes and tests like running a tuberculosis test.  Allergy tests are also commonly done through intradermal injections.  The person who is performing the injection purposely chooses an area that has soft skin that is very easy to penetrate with the needle.  You can easily tell if someone is administering an intradermal injection because they typically insert the needle in a very slanted position, almost horizontal to the skin.  The most common site for an intradermal injection is the forearm.




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