How to perform an intravenous injection
DISCLAIMER: Do not do this.
The following describes a procedure for self-administration of sterile chemicals into a vein.
Injecting into a vein is considerably more complicated and considerably more dangerous than other types of injection. That said, proper technique can at least minimize the possible damage.
- To get the veins to rise to a level at which you can hit them, you will need a tourniquet.
- It is important to choose a gentle tourniquet, as something too tight or hard could damage your delicate veins.
- Rubber tubing is preferable. Other equivalents will suffice.
- When tying the tourniquet, tuck it in upon itself or use a self-tightening loop. You want the tourniquet to be able to slip off.
- Your veins are precious and they will not last forever if you wantonly stick needles in them.
- Veins contain valves to prevent the backflow of blood. Hitting a valve can cause irreparable damage to the vein, even leading to vein collapse.
- To find the valve:
- Press your finger on the vein and run it slowly down its length.
- You should see a point where blood stops (i.e, the vein appears to stop as your finger passes that point).
- When you lift your finger, blood should flow again past that point.
- That point contains a valve.
- Wash hands and injection site with antibacterial soap.
- Clean injection site with isopropyl alcohol.
- Wrap the tourniquet around your arm just above the injection site.
- Insert the needle at a 45 degree angle with the vein. You are injecting WITH the flow of the vein (which flows towards the heart). If you are hitting a vein in your arm, the needle will point towards the elbow
- Pull back the plunger slightly to test for blood. If their is no blood, pull it out - you missed. If the blood is bright red, foamy, and has considerable pressure behind it, pull out and apply direct pressure - you hit an artery, you don't want it there. (Hitting an artery is generally unlikely unless you are going for deep veins.)
- If the blood is dark, you're there.
- REMOVE THE TOURNIQUET. Injecting while a tourniquet is tied will cause too much pressure to build and may cause the vein to burst.
- Slowly push in plunger and administer chemical.
- Pull out and apply pressure with clean gauze.
- Keeping wound above heart will facilitate clotting and minimize bruising.
- Put a band-aid on it.