People giving themselves intramuscular or subcutaneous injections prepare their syringes, identify and prepare appropriate areas of the body, then insert, check and remove their syringes. Patients with specific instructions from their doctors regarding medication or syringe preparation and injection locations must follow those instructions as well, according to Drugs.com.
A person giving himself an intramuscular injection can choose injection sites such as the upper arm, thigh and buttocks. For subcutaneous injections, he can choose sites such as the upper arm, tops of thighs, buttocks and the abdomen area, other than in the navel or around the waistline. To prepare the injection site, the patient cleans the area with an alcohol pad or alcohol-soaked cotton ball and allows the site to dry completely. Next, he manipulates the skin at the proposed injection site until it has tightened and inserts a needle filled with the proper dose of medication at a 90-degree angle, according to Drugs.com.
After pushing the plunger to inject the medication, the patient slowly releases the plunger to check for blood in the syringe, an indication that the syringe penetrated a blood vessel. If blood appears in the syringe, the patient disposes of the syringe and prepares another to be injected in a different area. If the syringe was injected properly, the patient depresses the plunger to release the medication, then removes the syringe at the same angle it went in and disposes of it in a properly closed container, advises Drugs.com.