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A subcutaneous injection (abbreviated as SC, SQ, sub-cu, sub-Q or subcut) is a method of injection which administered as a bolus into the subcutis, the layer of skin directly below the dermis and epidermis, collectively referred to as the cutis. Subcutaneous injections are highly effective in administering vaccines and such medications as insulin, morphine, diacetylmorphine or goserelin.
A person with Type I diabetes mellitus typically injects insulin subcutaneously. Places on the body where people can inject insulin most easily are:
- The outer area of the upper arm.
- Just above and below the waist, except the area right around the navel (a 2-inch circle).
- The upper area of the buttock, just behind the hip bone.
- The front of the thigh, midway to the outer side, 4 inches below the top of the thigh to 4 inches above the knee.
These areas can vary with the size of the person. Changing the injection site keeps lumps or small dents called lipodystrophies from forming in the skin. However, people should try to use the same body area for injections that are given at the same time each day-for example, always using the abdomen for the morning injection or an arm for the evening injection. Using the same body area for these routine injections lessens the possibility of changes in the timing and action of insulin.
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