Intramuscular injections require identification of anatomical markers to assure proper placement.
Important note: infants <18 months old should not receive an IM injection of >0.5 mL.
Vastus lateralis muscle:
Tolerates volumes up to 5 mL in adults. Maximum volume for ages between 3-13 years is 1.5 mL, 1 ½ – 3 years is 1 mL. <1 ½ years, 0.5 mL. Maximum needle length for children is 1 inch.
Maximum volume is 3 mL in adults, 2mL for ages between 6-13 years, 1.5 mL for between 3-6 years, and 1 mL for ages between 1 ½ – 3 years. May be the safest and least painful IM injection site.
Not recommended unless required by drug manufacturer; do not use in children less than 3 years old. Maximum volume is 3 mL in adults, 2mL for ages between 6-13 years, and 1.5 mL for between 3-6 years. Risks: Proximal to the sciatic nerve, superior gluteal artery, and the possibility of injecting medication into the thick layer of subcutaneous tissue over the muscle.
used for volumes of ≤1mL in adults and 0.5 mL in children between 18 Risk: Proximal to the radial nerve and the brachial artery.