How to inject Dalteparin at home
Your doctor has prescribed Dalteparin injections for you or your family member to have at home. This information provides you with a guide on how to give Dalteparin injections either to yourself or to a family member.
It is a simple process that you can do at home. If you do not feel confident to inject Dalteparin a referral can be made to the Community Nurses. Please talk to your doctor or nurse before you leave the hospital.
It is very important that you do not miss any Dalteparin doses unless otherwise advised by your doctor.
Your nurse should have already shown you the correct technique to administer Dalteparin injection. A sharps bin should have been provided to you on hospital discharge. You will be provided with the full course of injections. Store below 25 degrees.
What you need to know
Dalteparin is a medication which thins the blood in order to treat blood clots or to prevent them if you are at risk e.g. after surgery, prolonged bed-rest, in some cases during pregnancy or patients with certain types of cancer.
Dalteparin comes as a pre-filled syringe intended for injection under the skin. The injection is to be given into the fatty area of the body. The recommended injection sites are:
Abdomen, thighs or upper arms. The right injection sites are highlighted in the picture below.
Change injection site each day to avoid complications e.g. skin scars or lumps.
Inject Dalteparin at the same time every day for the length of the treatment. You should read the Dalteparin leaflet included in the Dalteparin box before injecting the medicine.
Wash your hands and clean the injection site with soap and water. Remove the top of the Dalteparin pack (1). Move the orange needle-trap down (2). Carefully remove the grey needle cap by pulling it (3).
Pinch a fatty fold of skin between your fingers, this will be the injection site (4). With the other hand hold the syringe and firmly insert the needle in full at a 45 or 90 degree angle into the skin fold (5). Push the plunger to inject the medicine then pull the needle out.
Initially this may feel a little uncomfortable and painful, but future injections should feel less so.
Do not attempt to re-apply the cap to the needle (6). On a hard surface, push the needle against the orange needle-trap until it locks (7). Dispose of the syringe in the yellow sharp bin provided (8).
Injection sites in detail
Upper Arm: Find the area halfway between the elbow and shoulder. You should be able to grasp 1 to 2 inches of a fatty fold of skin.
Abdomen: Find the area below the waist to just above the hip bone and from the side to about 2 inches from the belly button. Avoid the belly button.
Thigh: Find the area halfway between the knee and hip and slightly to the side. You should be able to grasp 1 to 2 inches of a fatty fold of skin.
Facts about Dalteparin injection
- Dalteparin increases your risk of bleeding. Take care when shaving or using sharp objects.
- If you have heavy bleeding from a surgical wound or from your nose, mouth or rectum you must inform your doctor immediately.
- It is common to develop bruises around the Dalteparin injection site. Bruises will fade away in 1-2 weeks time.
- If you forget whether you had your injection today, seek advice from your doctor.
- The small air bubble inside Dalteparin syringe is meant to be there, do not remove it as this may lead to loss of medicine.
- The injection site can be painful for a few minutes after a Dalteparin injection. Do not rub the area.
- Make sure you read the manufacturer leaflet and follow the instructions given before you inject Dalteparin.
A useful scheme on how to change injection site
You should change injection site each day. The scheme below shows how to do this with a rotating method. The same scheme for the upper thighs can be also used for the upper arms.
Change injection site reduces the risk of complications e.g. skin scars or lumps.
The ‘How to inject Dalteparin’ video was made by Pfizer for Felleskatalogen Oslo and refers to Dalteparin with the commercial name of Fragmin.
The video is not intended to sponsor Pfizer and it is only for patient education use.
Disposing of full sharps bins
You should have been provided with a sharps bin before hospital discharge. You should not put used needles or other sharps in your household waste bin or any other general waste bin.
Your local Council is responsible for collecting your full sharps bin.
You can find out more from your local Council’s website by searching ‘clinical waste’ or ‘healthcare waste’.
- Aylesbury, Buckingham area local Council – www.aylesburydc.gov.uk
- Amersham, Chesham area local Council – www.chiltern.gov.uk
- Beaconsfield, Burnham area local Council – www.southbucks.gov.uk
- High Wycombe, Marlow area local Council – www.wycombe.gov.uk
If you have any further questions relating to your treatment please speak to your doctor or community nurse who will be able to help you.