Gluteal injections in increasingly obese population: Needle length for intramuscular injections

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.332.7544.795 (Published 30 March 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:795
  1. Brian J Anthony, lecturer (b.anthony{at}mdx.ac.uk)
  1. Middlesex University, Archway Campus, London N19 5LW

    EDITOR—Nisbet concludes that longer needles should be considered for gluteal injections in an increasingly obese population.1

    What is a longer needle? In the fifth edition of the Royal Marsden Hospital Manual of Clinical Nursing Procedures the authors suggest the following needle lengths, based on patient weight, for gluteal intramuscular injections2:

    Embedded Image

    31.5-40.00 kg: 2.5 cm needle 40.5-90.00 kg: 5-7.5 cm needle > 90 kg: 10-15 cm needle. They cite Lenz.3


    • Competing interests None declared.


    1. 1.
    2. 2.
    3. 3.
    View Abstract

    Sign in

    Log in through your institution

    Free trial

    Register for a free trial to thebmj.com to receive unlimited access to all content on thebmj.com for 14 days.
    Sign up for a free trial