Giving a glucagon injection
Turn the head to the side: Step 1
Turn the person's head to the side, to prevent choking if he or she vomits.
Choose the injection site: Step 2
Choose the site to give the injection.
Pinch the skin: Step 3
Find a clean area of skin on the upper arm or thigh. Slightly pinch a fold of skin between your fingers of one hand. Hold the syringe like a pencil close to the site, keeping your fingers off the plunger.
Insert the needle: Step 4
Try to keep the syringe at a 90-degree angle to the injection site. Thin adults and small children with little fat often need the needle to be inserted at a 45-degree angle to prevent the medicine from being given into muscle. Quickly push the needle all the way into the pinched-up area.
Give the injection: Step 5
Push the plunger to give the medicine. Give the amount of glucagon that the person's doctor has recommended. After you give the glucagon shot, immediately call 911 for emergency care. If emergency help has not arrived within 5 minutes and the person is still unconscious, give another glucagon shot.
Check the blood sugar level: Step 6
Wait 5 to 10 minutes after giving the injection before checking the blood sugar. Remember, it can take 15 minutes or longer for the blood sugar to increase after the injection. Use the lancet device to prick the side of the finger. Test a small sample of blood to check the blood sugar level. Repeat this step after 30 minutes to make sure the blood sugar stays in your target blood sugar range.
Give quick-sugar food: Step 7
If the person becomes more alert, carefully give some quick-sugar food or liquid. Stay with the person until emergency help arrives.
Last Updated: July 22, 2009
Author: Judy Dundas
Medical Review: Caroline S. Rhoads, MD - Internal Medicine & David C.W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology & Metabolism