Shots often don't reach muscle

9:49pm, December 13, 2005

From Chicago, at a meeting of the Radiological Society of North America

Standard 3-centimeter needles are too short to penetrate the layer of fat in the buttocks of most women and most obese men, body scans reveal. Medications that physicians think they're administering to muscle, therefore, often don't reach that target.

A recent study by researchers in Ireland found a failure rate of 92 percent in women and 44 percent in men.

"Overall, 68 percent of the injections failed to reach the muscle," says Victoria Chan of the Adelaide and Meath Hospital in Dublin. "We recommend first and foremost the use of a longer needle, especially in women." Women typically have more buttocks fat than men do.

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