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The Pediatric Forum
April 2006

Needle Aspiration and Intramuscular Vaccination

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2006;160(4):451. doi:10.1001/archpedi.160.4.451-a

Needle aspiration is the process of pulling back on the syringe plunger prior to injection. Its purported importance is to prevent accidental entry of the needle into a blood vessel, but there is no scientific evidence to support its need. The most recent guidelines published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (Elk Grove Village, Ill) recommend that aspiration prior to intramuscular vaccination may not be necessary,1 while the Canadian guidelines continue to recommend aspiration.2 It is not surprising therefore that both techniques are currently being used by vaccinators. The objective of this survey was to determine which technique vaccinators are currently using.

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