The five intramuscular injection sites are ventrogluteal, deltoid, dorsogluteal, rectus femoris and vastus lateralis, according to Oncology Nurse Advisor. An intramuscular injection is a procedure that inserts medication deep into the muscle tissue where there is an adequate blood supply, states Study.com.
The ventrogluteal injection site accesses the gluteus medius muscle, which is in the upper side of the hip, explains Wallcur. Nurses often administer intramuscular injections to this site because it avoids all major blood vessels and nerves.
The deltoid injection site is 1 to 2 inches below the shoulder region, notes Study.com. Nurses use this site for many adult vaccinations.
The dorsogluteal site is in the gluteus maximus muscle in the upper outer quadrant of the buttock, according to Wallcur and Study.com. The nurse administering the injection must avoid the sciatic nerve, which is in this region. If the injection reaches this nerve, it can cause permanent damage.
The rectus femoris is the anterior quadriceps muscle, notes Wallcur. This is the site for self-administration, and nurses utilize this site with infants.
The vastus lateralis site is in the quadriceps muscle on the outer side of the femur, says Wallcur. This is the main location used for children.
Intramuscular injections provide rapid systemic action and allow the absorption of relatively large doses of medication, asserts Wallcur. A nurse administers such injections when an individual cannot take oral medication or when absorption needs to be faster than subcutaneous injection, states Oncology Nurse Advisor.