I have learned in school that to give an enema you place the pt. on the left side. But my mother who has been an RN for 40 years says that it should be given to a pt lying on the right side so you can get the assending colon, she says on the left, you only get the decending colon and you don't effectively remove all the stool or as much as possible. I'm wondering if anyone has any info on this, and if possible, where I can back up this info? It makes sense to me. Has anyone heard of this?
Nov 27, '01
by NRSKarenRN, BSN, RN Moderator
Author: Joseph Garcia Stafrace C.G.N (England)
Basic aspects of enema administration are proper positioning of the patient, optimal volume of enema solution, infusion rate, and experience needed by the person giving the enema. Due to the atonomical situation of the rectum and sigmoid area, the left lateral position with a bit of head tilt, (trendelenburg position) is the ideal position. The pre- procedural digital examination is fundamental to check for stool and determine if the patient has fecal impaction, haemorrhoids, fishers, polyps, fistulas, rectal prolapse or any other abnormal external pathology. Special consideration must be given to patients having pelvic radiation (fragile rectal tissue and radiation protitis increase the risk of perforation), or patients in ITU or CCU due to tension exacerbation and other cardiopulmonary problems from lying flat for the enema. Pediatric patients are in a class of their own from all aspects, even the psychological point. Pre-procedural digital examination should be standard; it`s your passport to a safe journey within.
From CB Fleet Enema Company: RE Fleets enemas
Professional Use Warnings:
Do not use in patients with congenital megacolon, bowel obstruction, imperforate anus, or congestive heart failure. Use with caution in patients with impaired renal function, pre-existing electrolyte disturbances or a colostomy, or in patients on diuretics or other medications that may affect electrolyte levels, as hypocalcemia, hyperphosphatemia, hypernatremia, or acidosis may occur.
Left side position:
Lie on left side with knee bent, and arms resting comfortably.
Kneel, then lower head and chest forward until left side of face is resting on surface with left arm folded comfortably.
Enema Administration + Constipation managment in Narcotic Induced Constipation--includes Milk and Molasses enema mixture
Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Nov 28, '01