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The Ventrogluteal Injection Site

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Levi is an orthopedic nurse. In his free time, he loves to write, fix computers, and travel.

Diagram showing how to locate the ventrogluteal injection site

Diagram showing how to locate the ventrogluteal injection site

Advantages and Disadvantages for the Ventrogluteal Injection

The ventrogluteal injection site is the preferred injection site for adults and children over seven months. The muscle that is injected at this site is the gluteus medius. The advantage of this site is that it is reasonably free of major nerves and vascular branches. The bony landmarks, such as the greater trochanter and the iliac spine, make the site easy to locate. The muscle mass at this site is adequate enough for deep IM or Z-track injections. The last advantage of this intramuscular (IM) site is it can be administered from numerous patient positions, such as the supine, lateral (left or right), and abdomen.

Don't forget to tell the patient to relax the muscles prior to injection, as this can reduce the chances of bruising and more importantly, reduce pain or discomfort.

The only major disadvantage of this injection site is that if hypersensitivity were to take place, a tourniquet would not be possible to apply to delay absorption. Of course, the other disadvantage to this site would be a healthcare professional's unfamiliarity with the site.

Considerations for the Ventrogluteal Injection

First things first. To a patient, this location could be considered a private area as the pants need to come down a bit to be able to locate the IM injection properly. The procedure should be explained so that the patient understands what is going to happen so they are not startled or if an alternate location needs to be considered. Once past that point remember that the volume of drug that can go the ventrogluteal route is 1.0 - 4.0 ml for well-developed muscles, but a child under two years old should receive no more than 1 ml in the ventrogluteal site. The gauge of the needle can be 21-25, with a length of 1.5 inches for the average-sized adult; the needle would be much shorter for skinny individuals and children. Larger patients may require a needle that is larger than 1.5 inches to make sure the needle makes it through the adipose tissue (fat). Be sure that the angle of all ventrogluteal injections is 90 degrees.

Locating the Site for a Ventrogluteal IM Injection

First, you must determine which hand you will use to locate the IM injection site by the position the patient is in, for example, if the patient is on their right side you would use your right hand to find the landmarks. So using the example, a person is lying on their right side so you would take your right hand and place it on their greater trochanter, depending on the length of your fingers you would then place your index finger on the anterior superior iliac spine or point your finger in that direction with the thumb pointed at the groin, all other fingers should be pointed at the patient's head. Once your hand is in position move your middle finger back along the iliac crest towards the buttock as far as you are able to go. This forms the triangle with the index and middle finger and the center of that triangle is the injection site for a ventrogluteal injection.

This content is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for formal and individualized diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed medical professional. Do not stop or alter your current course of treatment. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


Pediatric ED Nurse on March 19, 2020:

Hello, I wanted to tell you that your information is incorrect. The preferred injection site for pediatric patients to the age of 3 years is the vastus lateralis. Please refrain from giving pediatric information if you are not a pediatric expert. Can you please change this information?

JS on October 04, 2018:

One of the ways to find Landmarks for a Ventrogluteal injection video

This is not the VG injection site. Take this video down--it is the dorso gluteal injection site~!!!!

steve R.Ph on April 25, 2012:

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So can i assume Ventrogluteal is at about the same level as a straight glute hit just to the side a bit at a different angle

Roxy LPN on March 14, 2012:

I couldn't imagine 5 ml IM going into the deltoid. Physicians will put 5 ml into a shoulder joint injection (ex: 1.5 ml methylprednisone 40 mg/ml mixed with 3.5 ml of xylocaine 2% 20 mg/ml injection). This is NOT an IM injection and can only be given by physician.

Deltoids can take up to 3 ml, but usually most IM injections that go in an adult deltoid are 1 ml (ex: Twinrix 1 ml, Gardasil 1 ml, Vitamin B12 1 ml, etc...)

I have not see anyone use the upper, outer quadrant location method since the 90's.

zakir afghan on January 13, 2012:

how to indicate dorsogluteal injection area?

Levi (author) from New Mexico on October 28, 2011:

@ jcrottyrn As the title above the video states "How NOT NOT NOT NOT to give a ventrogluteal injection!!!"

jcrottyrn on October 28, 2011:

The dorsogluteal site (shown in this video, upper outer quad of buttock) is no longer recommended for IM shots. Ventrogluteal is safer. Lots of other info in this video is good though.

Susan on September 08, 2011:

Who ever put 5mL into your your deltoid is a really BAD nurse! The deltoid is only supposed to get 1mL or less!

annemct on March 11, 2011:

While in hospital with septicemia 6 mths ago. During getting an IM injection in my right buttock I experienced extremely severe pain, the nurse was panicking, my blood pressure fell and I was confined to bed for 24 hrs. 6 mth later I can still pinpoint where the injection was although the hard lump had gone. I am also having burning, needles pain along the top of my buttock going into the centre and 'electic shock' sensation in one patch on my lower right leg??These are getting worse. I don't have any pain dowm my leg. Initially my GP thought the needle had touched my sciatic nerve

so sorry on October 14, 2010:

gave a pt 2mls of solu medrol in the deltoid.what are the side effects?

Levi (author) from New Mexico on October 14, 2010:

First of all why did you? Second, you should have divided the shot into two and went with both deltoids or both ventroglutel sites. Third, considering you're still alive, your only major concern would be major tissue/muscle damage. Thanks

woahbaby on October 14, 2010:

hi, i recently got an IM injection of 5mL in the deltoid, are there any risks i should be aware of? and where would be the best place to do a 5mL IM injection?

neih on September 23, 2010:

thanks,this is clear and straight to the point.

Levi (author) from New Mexico on June 24, 2010:

Thanks, i fixed it

Kathy Dickens on June 24, 2010:

We couldn't hear the video,,,no audio.

V on March 24, 2010:

Thank you, I have been looking for this info everywhere!!

mensur on December 23, 2009:

thanks not bad

muna sax on September 05, 2009:

Thanks, this information help me a lot.

Levi (author) from New Mexico on July 28, 2009:

You are welcome, it has been one of my most visited hubs

Heidi L. on July 28, 2009:

Thanks, good information

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