What Happens if You Inject Vitamin B12 Wrong?


Laura Schaefer

If you inject Vitamin B12 incorrectly, you may experience severe medical complications. These include painful abscesses or other damages from an incorrect intramuscular injection. If you suffer from an incorrect injection by a medical professional, you need legal guidance to cover your damages.

Vitamin B12 shots are an increasingly popular wellness treatment used to increase energy, support metabolism, and reduce overall fatigue. People living with anemia or hormone imbalances often require Vitamin B12 shots. If you are suffering from a bad B12 injection due to medical malpractice, it’s time to lawyer up.

You may even suffer from lost employment opportunities due to the injuries. These losses can be compensated for, and the process starts by calling a medical malpractice attorney.

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Can You Inject B12 at Home?

Because receiving Vitamin B12 shots at a clinic can get expensive, people often inject doctor-prescribed B12 injections at home. A manufactured Vitamin B12 injection, often referred to as Cyanocobalamin, is generally cost-effective and safe.

You can acquire Vitamin B12 supplements over the counter as sprays or tablets. However, those with digestive problems like Celiac Disease require a Vitamin B12 injection.

The syringes that come with the Vitamin B12 injection kit are meant to only be used once. Used needles are then disposed of in a special sharps waste container. If there is any discoloration present in the Vitamin B12 liquid, do not use the liquid and order another batch.

Use The Right B12 Supplements

If your Vitamin B12 vial wasn’t prescribed by a doctor and dispensed by a legitimate pharmacy, don’t use it. Make sure you inject Vitamin B12 under the direction of your doctor, as Cyanocobalamin has been associated with various negative health conditions.

Be especially careful if you have Leber’s Disease as Vitamin B12 has been known to cause swift optic nerve atrophy. If you feel you suffered from a medical misdiagnosis, be sure to call an attorney to verify your case.

Never order Vitamin B12 supplements outside your country and only use doses prescribed by your doctor or a reputable pharmacy. You never know the contents of the supplements shady websites sell you, and they may be expired or contaminated.

Preparing for the Vitamin B12 Injection

Either at home or at a medical clinic, begin by washing and sterilizing the injection site (usually the side of your thigh) thoroughly with an alcohol prep pad. If you are doing the injection yourself, wash your hands with warm water and antibacterial soap.

You can wear medical-grade gloves before giving yourself the injection. Even if you choose to wear gloves, be sure to wash and dry your hands before putting them on.

There are two types of Vitamin B12 injections available:

  • Intramuscular injections (IM)
  • Subcutaneous injections (SQ)

Intramuscular injections require the needle to be angled 90 degrees to adequately pierce the muscle tissue. Subcutaneous injections are angled 45 degrees and require the needle to pierce the fat tissue above the muscle instead. Both injection methods are effective in delivering Vitamin B12 as long as they are done correctly.

How to Inject Vitamin B12 at Home

Follow these steps to inject Vitamin B12 at home:

  1. Remove the cap from your single-use syringe.
  2. Pull back on the plunger to fill the syringe with air up to the measurement line of your B12 dosage.
  3. Flip the vial upside down. Stick the needle-end of the syringe into the top of the vial.
  4. Push the air into the vial to prevent a suction effect when you draw the actual solution out.
  5. Adjust the needle so it’s in the solution. Pull the plunger back to draw up the full amount of vitamin B12 your doctor told you to use.
  6. Point your syringe upward toward the ceiling, and slowly press the plunger down to push all excess air out of the syringe, including air bubbles.
  7. Push the needle straight down into the injection site on the side of your thigh. If you feel shooting or radiating pain, pull the needle straight out.
  8. Slowly push the plunger down on the syringe until the entire amount of solution has been administered.
  9. Pull the needle straight out.

Injecting Vitamin B12 subcutaneously requires you to pinch the injection site before administering the shot. Intramuscular injections do not require that preparation and can be injected directly.

If you feel your doctor or medical professional hasn’t followed these steps and there’s intense side effects, consult an attorney ASAP. You may qualify for compensation if your damages were directly caused by medical malpractice.

5 Ways to Inject Vitamin B12 Wrong

Injection errors are one of the most common claims for medical malpractice. Along with Depo-Provera shots, Vitamin B12 injections are often incorrectly administered, which leads to harmful side effects. Make sure your doctor avoids these common mistakes when injecting Vitamin B12.

Hitting a Nerve

This can happen during intramuscular or intravenous (into the vein) injections. If a Vitamin B12 injection hits a nerve, there’s an immediate sharp pain right when the shot is administered. In the area where the injection was given, watch out for:

  • Pain
  • Tingling
  • Weakness
  • Numbness

Nerve damage after a Vitamin B12 injection can range from minor sensory disturbance to major paralysis. Minor nerve damage may require extensive physical therapy for recovery, so make sure your doctor is administering every shot correctly.

Improper Disinfection

If your syringe, hands, or injection site isn’t clean and sterile, you may get an infection. Most injection-related contamination is caused by the Staph Aureus bacteria on our skin.

Reusing needles, using contaminated Vitamin B12, not washing your hands, or improperly preparing the injection site may cause abscesses to form. They start as red spots that hurt when touched, but they eventually grow in size and rupture, leaking fluids.

Not Rotating Injection Sites

If you don’t want skin tissue to scar or harden, be sure to rotate between the B12 injection sites. This method aids your body with absorbing the vitamin, so it should be standard to keep injection sites one inch away from each other.

Consult with a medical professional on which parts of your body you should use as injection sites. The most common injection site for Vitamin B12 is at the Vastus Lateralis located at the middle of the thigh. Other common injection sites include:

  • Deltoids
  • Upper buttocks
  • Abdomen

Improper Light Exposure

Vitamin B12 doesn’t become toxic when exposed to light, but it does lose its potency. Light pollution may dull each shot’s effectiveness, lowering the power each shot has on preventing Vitamin B12 anemia.

Injecting Air Bubbles

Tiny air bubbles may absorb into the blood during injection. These are mostly harmless, but injecting a large amount of air is painful and even fatal in large doses. Introducing a large amount of air into your vein may cause an air embolism. This condition is fatal with just 2-3 milliliters of air introduced into your cerebral bloodstream.

Symptoms of an Incorrect Vitamin B12 Injection

Look for the following symptoms when suspecting an incorrect Vitamin B12 injection, as your attorney needs every bit of evidence to prove your claim. Protect yourself and hold each negligent party accountable through proper legal action.

Lost Effectiveness of B12 Solution

If you miss the muscle and inject the B12 into the fat underneath your skin, nothing bad will happen. This is like the situation where the vitamin solution was exposed to too much light – it’s just less effective. This means the health benefits associated with B12 will be less noticeable, leading to less red blood cell production.

Excessive Scarring

If a healthcare provider keeps injecting Vitamin B12 into the same place, your skin may harden or scar. Your provider should know how to rotate injection sites to prevent further damage to individual parts of your body.

Abscess Buildup

This is a serious side effect of a wrong injection and will likely require medical attention. An abscess is a buildup of blood, pus, and bodily fluid due to a bacterial infection.

Abscesses are rare but do occur when injections are administered improperly. What should you look for when suspecting abscess buildup? Infection sites usually begin as sore red spots, warm to the touch. As time passes, they grow and become more tender. Abscesses will then rupture and leak infectious fluids.

IMPORTANT: If you suspect an abscess, make sure to seek medical care right away.

Types of Damages After an Incorrect Vitamin B12 Injection

If you suffered medical malpractice after an incorrect vitamin B12 injection, you can receive compensation called compensatory damages. These damages are meant to cover losses you suffered due to a medical professional’s negligence. The following damages may include:

  • Economic damages: These are the measurable losses you’ve suffered as a result of your wrong B12 injection, such as medical expenses you’ve had to pay out and the lost wages you’ve had from a missed day or days of work.
  • Non-economic damages: These damages refer to the non-measurable costs of your injury, including pain and suffering, mental anguish, disability, and loss of consortium.

Punitive damages: Although not considered compensatory, these damages are designed to punish an at-fault party for particularly egregious, wanton or reckless actions. They are rarely awarded but may be relevant if your case is unique in some way.

Contact your health provider as soon as possible if you suffered an incorrect Vitamin B12 injection from your doctor, nurse, or wellness clinic. You may need a second doctor to review your condition and records to verify the specific damages you suffered due to medical malpractice.

IMPORTANT: Gather medical records and photos of your injury so your attorney can represent your case as effectively as possible. Be prepared to show these documents to your attorney during your medical malpractice consultation.

Find an Attorney to Defend Yourself Against Medical Malpractice

Taking legal action ensures that the medical industry doesn’t inflict the same injuries you suffered to others. If you’re worried about legal fees, know that most medical malpractice lawyers work under contingency. What this means is attorney services are free until you get your settlement in the mail.

Make sure to file your malpractice claim as soon as you’re able to. Medical malpractice claims have a deadline for receiving cases. If you file too late for your state, you can’t present your case to court. To start, call 888-927-3080 or complete this short evaluation form to reach out.

Laura Schaefer

Laura Schaefer is the author of The Teashop Girls, The Secret Ingredient, and Littler Women: A Modern Retelling. She is also an active co-author or ghostwriter of several nonfiction books on personal and business development. Laura currently lives in Windermere, Florida with her husband and daughter and works with clients all over the world. Visit her online at lauraschaeferwriter.com and linkedin.com.