How Do You Administer a Flu Shot in the Deltoid?

Whether you are getting your flu shot or you are a healthcare professional, you need to know how to administer a flu shot in the deltoid. This area of the arm is used by the immune system to transport antigens to lymph nodes. Using the right technique is important to minimize the chance of adverse reactions at the injection site. It is also essential to prevent the risk of a complication called subdeltoid bursitis.

Although it is not a life-threatening condition, vaccine injury related to administration can be extremely painful. Usually, it occurs within the first 48 hours of receiving an intramuscular deltoid vaccine. The symptoms include persistent pain in the shoulder, reduced mobility, and a loss of range of motion. In some cases, the patient may have a frozen shoulder.

Injections into the wrong part of the arm can result in damage to the tendons and joint capsule. In addition, incorrectly administered influenza vaccine can cause pain and swelling in the shoulder. Luckily, preventing these complications is not hard. You simply need to pay attention to the anatomical landmarks of the arm and make sure to give the proper dosage.

If you have large arms or hairy skin, you should use alcohol pads to clean the area before giving the flu shot. Also, if you have a tendency to fall or get injured, you should vaccinate lying down. Getting the flu shot in the deltoid is a good way to avoid this unintended injury.

To prevent infection, you should also be careful when removing the needle. Use a gentle touch and do not try to massage the site. If you are unsure how to remove the needle, ask a healthcare provider or a seasoned nurse. They can show you the best techniques.

If you want to keep a record of your vaccines, you should be aware of the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VARE). This program tracks and reports any type of adverse reaction to vaccination. The VARE has a special division for a type of vaccine-related shoulder injury called subdeltoid bursitis.

The VARE also has a special section on frozen shoulders. This is the number one claim in the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Unfortunately, a large portion of these injuries are due to improperly administered vaccines. That’s why you should stress to your healthcare providers in training the importance of using the correct technique.

Lastly, you should consider the type of needle you use. The most common needle gauge is a 1 inch needle. But you can find needles ranging from 0.625 inches to 1.5 inches. Depending on the type of material you need to inject, you will need to choose between one of these sizes.

In addition, the size of your muscle can also play a role in determining where the best site for an injection is. The adult deltoid is an ideal location for an influenza vaccine because it can hold up to 2 milliliters of solution. For younger children, the upper and outer buttocks or mid-thigh is an option. However, these locations are more likely to cause local reactions than the deltoid.