Helpful B12 Injecting Advice from a Retired RN
Cautions and Tips for Proper Injecting
Throughout my many years as a nurse I picked up quite a few helpful tips to alleviate my patients anxieties and minimize their discomfort. I also self-inject and found these tips helpful for myself, so I wanted to share them with you.
1. Take caution if you only use one needle to withdraw and inject your B-vitamins. Needle tips are very fragile, and they can easily be bent or dulled with just one use such as withdrawing your vitamins. The slightest bump to the side of an ampule or vial can damage the needle tip.
If you hit the outside of a vial or ampule with your needle, start over with a fresh needle to limit any risk of potential infection. If you damage your needle there is greater risk of pain upon insertion into your skin and can damage the tissue below.
2. It’s a good idea to buy an 18 or 20 gauge needle for drawing your vitamin B12 and B-Complex from vials and ampules, and then change to a new needle to inject. For the best injecting experience, a new, sharp, clean, one-use needle is what you always want when you are injecting.
If you use a small gauge needle such as 27, a 27 gauge is not to small for subcutaneous injections, but push slowly as not to cause tissue damage. The higher the number, the smaller the hole at the end of the needle. Think of a power sprayer used to wash your car, but under your skin. The smaller the needle, the slower your delivery should be to minimize any potential damage at injection sites.
Injecting Subcutaneously in Your Belly (abdomen)
When injecting in the abdomen, inject at least 5 cm (2 in) from the belly button in any fatty area. A subcutaneous injection is given into the subcutaneous fat under the skin. The skin is made up of different layers. Underneath the epidermis and dermis, which contain sweat glands and hair follicles, is a layer of fat. This is the area into which subcutaneous injections are given.
Never undertake self-injecting until you have been trained by a health professional and passed their training criteria.
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