Topic: Tests & Procedures
This handout was written to answer some of the questions most often asked about doing rectal irrigations at home. Feel free to ask your doctor or nurse to go over any information you do not understand.
WHAT IS A RECTAL IRRIGATION?
A rectal irrigation is done to remove stool and gas from the intestines. It involves placing a water/salt solution into the intestine. The solution is then removed.
WHEN IS A RECTAL IRRIGATION DONE?
A rectal irrigation is done when your child’s abdomen (belly) becomes distended or bloated. It might also be done if your child has a difficult time going to the bathroom. Children who have Hirschsprung’s disease may need rectal irrigations when they have enterocolitis. Enterocolitis is an inflammation or irritation of the bowel lining. Signs of enterocolitis may include a swollen belly, foul smelling liquid stools, decreased appetite, vomiting or lethargy.
HOW IS A RECTAL IRRIGATION DONE?
A tube is inserted into the anus and rectum. Air and stool are allowed to drain out. Then a normal saline solution is inserted into the rectum through the rectal tube. The saline is then allowed to drain. These steps are usually repeated several times.
Rectal tube (size: __________ )
Water soluble lubricant (such as KY Jelly™)
Normal saline solution *
60 cc syringe
Towel – for your child to lay on
* You can make your own normal saline solution: add two teaspoons of table salt to one quart of tap water (eight teaspoons to one gallon)
• ALWAYS USE NORMAL SALINE SOLUTION (TAP WATER / SALT SOLUTION)
This is necessary because normal saline solution contains salt. If the entire amount of saline solution does not drain out during the irrigation, it will not hurt your child. Tap water, however, does not have salt. Retained tap water could be absorbed and alter your child’s normal blood salt level (electrolyte level).
GETTING READY TO DO THE RECTAL IRRIGATION:
1) Gather the supplies listed.
2) Explain the irrigation procedure to your child.
3) Wash your hands.
4) Fill the 60 cc syringe with _______ cc’s of the normal saline solution.
5) Have your child lay on the towel – either on the floor or on a bed. Have your child lay on his/her LEFT side.
DOING THE RECTAL IRRIGATION:
1) Lubricate the tip of the rectal tube using the water-soluble lubricant.
2) Insert the rectal tube gently and slowly. You may find that it is helpful to have another person available to help distract your child while you insert the rectal tube. Stool may result as you insert the tube. Let stool drain into the basin.
3) Connect the syringe to the rectal tube and gently and very slowly push down the plunger of the syringe to instill the saline solution.
4) Pinch the tube to stop the flow of saline and remove the syringe.
5) Let the stool and solution drain into the basin. Gently press on your child’s abdomen while the stool is draining.
6) When the drainage stops, repeat steps # 3 through # 6 until the total amount of the saline is infused and
7) Gently remove the rectal tube.
AFTER THE RECTAL IRRIGATION:
1) Measure the amount of stool.
2) Clean your child’s buttocks to remove any stool that might be present.
3) Praise your child for cooperating during the irrigation. *
4) Wash the equipment with warm soapy water. You may reuse the equipment for the next rectal irrigation.
* For example: “You were very upset during the irrigation but you didn’t kick your feet. That was really good.”
HOW OFTEN ARE RECTAL IRRIGATIONS NEEDED?
Do a rectal irrigation for your child ________ times a day.
CALL YOUR CHILD’S DOCTOR, NURSE OR CLINIC IF . . .
- your child shows any signs or symptoms of enterocolitis
- your child does not tolerate or improve with rectal irrigation
- you have difficulty performing irrigation or fluid does not return
- you have any other questions or concerns
Derechos de autor(c) de The Children's Medical Center, ano 1999. Este material unicamente tiene fines educativos. No puede ser reproducido, distribuido ni modificado sin previa autorizacion de The Children's Medical Center of Dayton, One Children's Plaza, Dayton, Ohio, 45404-1815. Llame al 937-641-3666 para solicitar autorizacion o para obtener un juego maestro para copias. Para obtener mas informacion puede visitar www.childrensdayton.org (consulte la seccion de informacion legal).
La informacion contenida en este material es unicamente informacion de tipo general. No debe considerarse como completa. Para obtener mas informacion acerca de los complementos para leche materna, por favor pidala a su doctor.
The information contained in this handout is for general information only and should not be considered complete. For specific information about bathing your baby, please ask your doctor or nurse practitioner.
Additional information may be located in the Family Resource Center, 2nd floor, near the Outpatient Surgery Center. Hours of the center vary; please contact the Family Resource Center at 937-641-3700.
Copyright(c) The Children's Medical Center of Dayton. This material is for educational purposes only. It cannot be reproduced or distributed without permission from Dayton Children's.
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