Health Encyclopedia



Giving a Glucagon Injection

Turn the head to the side: Step 1

Turning the person's head to the side
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Turn the person's head to the side, to prevent choking if he or she vomits.

Choose the injection site: Step 2

Holding arm near the injection site
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Choose the site to give the injection.

Pinch the skin: Step 3

Pinching a fold of skin at the injection site
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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

Inserting needle into arm
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Try to keep the syringe at a 90-degree angle to the injection site. Quickly push the needle all the way into the pinched-up area.

Give the injection: Step 5

Giving the injection
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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

Pricking a finger to test blood sugar level
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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

Person getting quick sugar from a lollipop
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If the person becomes more alert, carefully give some quick-sugar food or liquid. Stay with the person until emergency help arrives.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer David C.W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology
Last Revised July 11, 2013

Last Revised: July 11, 2013

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & David C.W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology

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