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Vastus Lateralis May Be Better Than Deltoid for Infant Shots

Pain response similar after vaccination in either site; crying length shorter with vastus lateralis

WEDNESDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- In infants, intramuscular vaccination in the vastus lateralis is associated with a shorter duration of crying than intramuscular vaccination in the deltoid, though the pain responses appear to be similar, according to a study in the May issue of Applied Nursing Research.

Ayda Celebioglu, R.N., of Ataturk University in Erzurum, Turkey, and colleagues randomized 185 infants to vaccination through intramuscular injection in either the deltoid or the vastus lateralis to evaluate differences in pain response.

The researchers found that pain responses were similar in the two groups, with no significant differences in Neonatal Infant Pain Scale (NIPS) score, heart rate or respiratory rate. However, infants who received intramuscular vaccination in the vastus lateralis had a significantly shorter crying duration after the procedure than those who received deltoid vaccination.

"Although no differences in the NIPS scores of the infants in the two groups were detected, on the basis of the comparisons of the crying durations of the infants, the vastus lateralis muscle has been determined to be the best site of injection for procedures involving intramuscular injections in infants under 1 year old," the authors write.

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