The dorso-ventro debate: in search of empirical evidence

Br J Nurs. 2015 Dec 10;24(22):1132, 1134, 1136-9. doi: 10.12968/bjon.2015.24.22.1132.

Abstract

Identification of safe injections sites is a skill practised routinely by nurses, which, as with all nursing practice, is informed by empirical evidence. Despite this, discussion as to whether the dorsogluteal site should be eradicated from nursing practice in favour of the ventrogluteal site shows no sign of abating. Review of commonly cited evidence in this debate aimed to identify the validity of excluding the dorsogluteal site in favour of the ventrogluteal site by investigating the empirical evidence, which routinely informs this decision. Empirical evidence suggests a case to exclude the dorsogluteal site for children under age 10 for fear of damaging the sciatic nerve, but not so for adults. Recommendations are made for conclusive research into the viability of the dorsogluteal site and an authoritative decision based on empirical evidence, not hearsay, with regard to its continuance or eradication from nursing practice.

Keywords: Dorsogluteal site; Intramuscular injections; Sciatic nerve; Ventrogluteal site.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Buttocks
  • Child
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intramuscular* / adverse effects
  • Injections, Intramuscular* / nursing
  • Posture