Definition of "colostomy irrigation."
It is an enema through the colostomy stoma to stimulate peristalsis and empty the bowel of stool.
Clients with a descending or sigmoid colostomy can frequently regulate movements from the stoma by daily irrigation.
Irrigation should be done only with physician's approval.
General guidelines for colostomy irrigation.
Assemble all equipment including water container and water, irrigating sleeve and belt, items to clean skin and stoma, bath thermometer, pouch, clamp, and skin care items.
Wash hands well.
Sit upright on the toilet, if possible.
Fill irrigating container with about one quart water at 105 degrees.
Suspend the irrigating container so that the bottom of the container is about even with the top of the shoulder.
Remove air from the tube by allowing a small amount of water to flow through the tubing and then close clamp.
Apply latex gloves.
Remove old pouch and dispose.
Assess condition and color of skin and stoma.
Wash skin and stoma with soap and water.
Apply irrigating sleeve and belt securely.
Lubricate tip of cone and gently insert the irrigating cone into the stoma, holding it parallel to the floor.
Release the clamp to allow the water to flow slowly. (It should take about 10-15 minutes for all the water to enter.)
If water does not flow easily, check the following:
Slightly change the position or angle of the cone (water may be blocked by feces).
Check for kinks in the tubing from the irrigation container.
Check height of irrigating container (may need to be raised).
Relax, and take some deep breaths to relax abdominal muscles.
Stop flow of water if cramping occurs, if flow of water stops, or if water is forcefully returning around the cone.
Allow time for emptying (majority of stool will return in 15 minutes, although it may take an hour for complete emptying).
Rinse irrigation sleeve with cold water and hang to dry when procedure is finished.
General knowledge regarding colostomy irrigation.
Obtain physician's order for permission to irrigate.
Irrigate at the same time each day to promote regularity.
Order supplies before needed.