Blood Aspiration During IM Injection

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The World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention no longer recommend aspiration during intramuscular (IM) injections. The purpose of this study was to investigate the technique registered nurses (RNs) use during IM injections and incidence of blood aspiration. This descriptive study surveyed 164 RNs. Results noted that 74% of the sample continue to aspirate at least 90% of the time. Of the participants who continue to aspirate, only 3% aspirate for the recommended 5 to 10 s. Forty percent reported having aspirated blood at least once, whereas 6 RNs (4%) noted blood aspiration ≥13 times. Blood aspiration occurred most frequently in the dorsal gluteal (15%) and deltoid (12%). Based on the findings, it is recommended that RNs use a decision-making process to select the safest technique for IM injections. If a parental medication has different administration rates, dose, viscosity, or other concerns when given IM versus intravenously (IV), aspiration during IM administration should be implemented.

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