Are you suppose to inject sterile water intramuscular or subcutaneous? Me and my fellow classmates administered injections to each other in class today. The solution was sterile water. At the end of class I noticed the vial said to not inject. Each student experienced a bad burning sensation at the sites of injections. Our teacher said it was ok. Im feeling really uneasy about this, but Im only a student. My Study is Patient Care.

Expert Answers

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Sterile water for injection is used to mix medications that are given intravenously. IM or SQ routes are contraindicated. If a product is needed for IM or SQ use that product should be NS(normal saline). However, NS is also used as a diluent for IV medications also.

The pH of sterile water is between 5.5-7.0, this is probably why it burned assuming you gave each other SQ or IM shots. The pH of your blood is between 7.35-7.45, so the sterile water is more acidic.

Nevertheless, the amount that you administered to each other was hopefully very small, probably less than 1ml. You may have had a local, self limiting reaction to the sterile water.

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