SI air bubble dread: Hurrah, finally... - Pernicious Anaemi...

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SI air bubble dread


Hurrah, finally finally found courage to self inject B12 after neuro symptoms. All encouragement, advice, support and about process from this forum gratefully received. Watched some You Tube videos about how to administer, some of which really useful, others slightly scary, including the one which came up with giant text saying air bubbles in syringes can kill you. Still, fretting aside, with help of kind nurse friend, an orange and some stiff self talk - I did it! Just hope I get those air bubbles sorted each time! Now I need to resource more B12 to trial every other day regime.

Thanks to all...

21 Replies
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JillMaryC in reply to Hidden

Phew! Wishing you well.

Air bubbles are only dangerous if they get into a vein. That is very unlikely when injecting intramuscular as there aren’t any large veins in the muscles likely to be used.

Have a look at a slice of ham sometime and you’ll notice there are no visible blood vessels. If you bleed from an injection site it’s slmost certa8nly because you’ve passed through a vein in the skin on the way down.

JillMaryC in reply to fbirder

Thank you. All a learning curve.

Well done on your first injection. It's a great feeling knowing you've managed it. As fbirder states, its only really dangerous if injecting intravenously and even then according to the nurse that instructed me, you need a fair bit.

You will though very quickly get into a routine for you injections that includes removing air.

One word of advice. I also spent ages with the orange as instructed by the nurse so that I could quickly insert the needle and it led to me taking ages, mentally preparing to quickly jab myself. I think though that that is done to help the needle go in cleanly without the patient moving and before they have time to think about it. When injecting yourself though I quickly found the opposite is true. I now pull my skin taught, rest the point against it and slowly apply pressure. That removed the mental block of having to jab myself.

However you do it. Congratulations of your first SI and I hope you quickly feel the benefits.

JillMaryC in reply to Gaudygoat

Thank you so much. You are right. It's against our instinct to undertake this process, but it is ultimately healing, so a hurdle. Much appreciated guidance. Cheers

beginner1 in reply to JillMaryC

Someone posted a tip about pressing a coin into the thigh, which I do, I then wipe it with an alcohol swab. I point the needle at the circle, look away and stab, and inject fairly fast.

Totally agree with this tip

Just hold the syringe vertically prior to injecting & gently push the plunger until you get the first bit of fluid moving into the needle. You can gently push first drop through the needle, then inject. No risk of any air bubbles.

fbirder in reply to 06hollyberry

The problem with doing that is the small drop (which contains salt and vinegar) can sting a bit when it goes in.

TroyNZ in reply to fbirder

I have found that if I wipe the needle with an antiseptic wipe it does not sting. Also the nurse that taught me to self inject told me not to worry about the air bubble. comforting advice but it does not stop me from clearing the air bubbles anyway.

Thank you. I'm sure there is an art to it. All this advice so helpful,

There is something built into us which finds pointing a sharp object at a thigh muscle then pushing it in totally against our basic instincts. Doing it to an orange or someone else is completely different, perhaps it is because you don't feel anything when the needle goes into an orange or someone else but you know you are going to feel it when it goes into you. I have always found it comes as a complete surprise when it doesn't actually hurt, or not very much. And, you do feel so very good, even superior, when you have actually done it. You can look at those around you who you know haven't had to do it and feel so very proud of yourself. Such a confidence booster.

I was always bothered about the dangers of injecting a bubble, even though I was well aware of that being important when injecting into a vein, so every time I put the injection needle onto the primed syringe I am careful to expel and air in the system, before injecting. Then, about a month ago, I just didn't do it then and even felt the bubble of air go into the muscle before I could stop it. I just carried on and pushed in the injection fluid. Then withdrew the needle. Everything felt fine, I think there was a slight swelling, not much, so it could just have been imagination and I gave my thigh a good massaging. I walked about a bit, then resigned to what would be would be, went to bed. (I usually do my injections before getting into bed.) Over the next few days I took careful note as to any untoward results but there was nothing other than a little tenderness around the injection site. As you can tell from this comment being several weeks after the event there have not been any serious repercussions of the mistake, I am still alive, still walking, and don't have a problem with injecting again into the abused thigh muscle.

It hasn't happened again and perhaps it was a good thing it did happen as it is all too easy to get complacent and begin making mistakes. That routine of getting the items of the kit ready, setting them up, opening the ampoule, drawing up the precious beautiful cerise coloured solution, changing to the injection needle, expelling any air, choosing the injection site then doing the deed and pulling out, not only becomes automatic but you also need to make sure your conscious check list is operating. Then disposal, safely.

It is a very important and very private moment of self preservation. So vital to our well being.

JillMaryC in reply to kcbrecks

Thank you so much. Not only very encouraging, but totally clear. Yes, think going through same routine both mentally and physically will help. Much appreciated. Wishing you well.

Lovely replies, especially from Gaudygoat and kcbrecks which leaves me nothing to add beyond I too am walking proof that little bubbles won't hurt you!

Well done and good luck with getting better.

You may find that you benefit from a broad spectrum multivitamin and mineral supplement plus extra folate, potassium, magnesium and iron, (ideally from your diet) especially if you are going to do frequent injections.

Yes! I was thinking I need to start looking at supporting the whole system. The doc, even though I repeatedly asked for guidance on causes, treatment and co-factor regime, offered nothing in the way of advice. Yes, I was thinking I need to research what to increase in diet and/or vitamin regime. I am useless at taking tablets and find another obstacle to overcome is swalling great handfuls. Shame we can't get tinctures instead! Thank you for your kind words and support.

Jumes1 in reply to JillMaryC

I have found the “ Better for You” vitamin sprays very effective . Available either in Holland and Barret OR their own website , I regularly use the vit B12 , the vit D and the iron sprays ... straight under the tongue and it bypasses the digestive system if malabsorption is a problem ...


You can get liquid multivitamin and mineral supplements for kids. They are quite expensive but will probably help.

If not, the basic supermarket ones are cheap and as good as any. You could powder these in a blender or even better a little coffee grinder (makes a racket but works) and mix them with something strong tasting. (If you sprinkle the powder in a marmite sandwich you won't notice it!!)

Or just crunch them - I'm not a fan of the flavour but it's possible!

Or take them with a mouthful of food - they usually go down OK that way.

I must go to work now but please look through my other replies for more information on the cofactors by double clicking on my name and looking under "replies". Please ask again if you have any further questions.

Good luck!

Thank you denisinmilden. So kind to find time in busy schedule to give advice. Much appreciated.

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