A nurse has injected sterile water into my buttocks on three occasions in the past month, and taken money for doing so.  Is this proper?

Expert Answers
boblawrence eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There is no valid medical reason to inject sterile water into the buttocks.

Lacking in dissolved salts, water is extremely hypotonic.  Because of the difference in salt content of the injected water and normal blood and body cells, the injection will cause rupture of the blood cells (hemolysis) and lysis (bursting) of tissue cells.  The water, if in small quantity, would eventually be absorbed, without lasting effect on your tissue’s contours.  In larger quantities, however, the water would be destructive of blood and tissues and would lead to an accumulation of degenerated blood and tissue called a seroma.  This could become infected, causing permanent scarring, retraction or deformity of one or both buttocks.


As you have undoubtedly experienced, injection of water is very painful.


I am concerned that this nurse is fooling you into thinking that these injections would have cosmetic or medical benefit…and is charging you money.  Unless a physician prescribed these injections, the nurse is practicing medicine without a license and should be reported to the authorities.   To do so, go online and find the nursing board for your state.

mohitb2ff | Student

no i have seen the sterile container and no other drug is mixed with it

i have been given only plain sterile water


lambertd | Student

Do you have more information you could provide. There are some medications that must be followed with normal saline in order to dilute the level of toxicity in the medication.