43. It is permissible to tear the wrapping off a syringe, medication or IV fluid container, including tearing through a perforation. If possible, one should tear between letters or words[74] and not through print[75].

44. A non-seriously ill patient may be treated with subcutaneous or intramuscular injections on the Sabbath[76]. However, one should not swab with cotton wool or gauze soaked in alcohol, even if held with forceps and even if soaked before the Sabbath. One should preferably use nylon (non-absorbent) swabs if available, or, if not, alcohol or iodine should be poured on to the appropriate part of the body and then wiped off with absorbent cotton wool or gauze[77]. A syringe with a pre-attached needle should preferably be used; if there is real need, the appropriate needle may be attached to a syringe for use[78].


[74] Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchata 9, note 48.

[75] Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchata 9:4 and 9:4.

[76] Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchata 33:7.

[77] Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchata 33:10.

[78] See R. Sh.Z. Auerbach in Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchata Pt. 3, ch. 35, note 63. See also Nishmat Avraham Pt. 5, Orach Chayyim 313:1; Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchata 33, note 43; and Nishmat Avraham Pt. 1, Orach Chayyim 313:1 and pages 355-364. See Resp. Or le-Tsiyyon Pt. 2, 36:19, which is prohibitive.