Supporting people with learning disabilities to receive subcutaneous injections
Intended for healthcare professionals

Supporting people with learning disabilities to receive subcutaneous injections

Kumaresan Cithambaram Lecturer (education), School of Nursing and Midwifery, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland

Why you should read this article:
  • To enhance your knowledge and skills in relation to the safe and effective administration of subcutaneous injections

  • To understand the actions you can take in your practice to support people with learning disabilities who require subcutaneous injections

  • To count towards revalidation as part of your 35 hours of CPD, or you may wish to write a reflective account (UK readers)

  • To contribute towards your professional development and local registration renewal requirements (non-UK readers)

The average life expectancy of people with learning disabilities has increased and many of these individuals will experience long-term and potentially life-limiting conditions such as diabetes mellitus, cancer or arthritis. To manage these conditions and any associated complications medicine injections may be required, and many of these will be administered via the subcutaneous route.

Learning disability nurses may sometimes need to administer subcutaneous injections as part of the care they provide and should therefore have the knowledge and skills required to undertake this procedure safely and effectively. In addition, learning disability nurses need to understand the principles of safe medicines administration, the equipment required for subcutaneous injections and the potential complications associated with the procedure.

This article outlines the best practice for administering subcutaneous injections in people with learning disabilities and explains how nurses can support these individuals before, during and after this procedure.

Learning Disability Practice. doi: 10.7748/ldp.2021.e2130

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software



Conflict of interest

None declared

Cithambaram K (2021) Supporting people with learning disabilities to receive subcutaneous injections. Learning Disability Practice. doi: 10.7748/ldp.2021.e2130

Published online: 29 April 2021

Want to read more?

Already have access? Log in


3-month trial offer for £5.25/month

Subscribe today and save 50% on your first three months
RCNi Plus users have full access to the following benefits:
  • Unlimited access to all 10 RCNi Journals
  • RCNi Learning featuring over 175 modules to easily earn CPD time
  • NMC-compliant RCNi Revalidation Portfolio to stay on track with your progress
  • Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests
  • A customisable dashboard with over 200 topics

Alternatively, you can purchase access to this article for the next seven days. Buy now

Are you a student? Our student subscription has content especially for you.
Find out more