colonic irrigation by mrshields


									Colonic irrigation
Client health information
  In Victoria there is currently no provision in         • Reduced capacity to control bowel movements          should discuss this with the operator.
  the Health Act 1958 requiring colonic                    for a period of time after the procedure.          • The controls should be placed so that clients
  irrigation businesses to be registered by              • Removal of normal intestinal flora may lead to       are unable to alter settings once the procedure
  local government. This fact sheet has been               gastrointestinal infections.                         commences.
  produced to allow those considering colonic
  irrigation to make an informed decision                  If you develop an infection, feel weak, or         • Operators should have clean clothes and no
  about the process.                                       have any other unusual symptoms following            exposed cuts, abrasions or wounds. Hands
                                                           therapy, stop treatment and check with               must be washed and thoroughly dried
  Colonic irrigation (also known as colonics, colonic
                                                           your doctor. You should also report these            immediately before putting on new gloves
  lavage, colon irrigation, high colonic or colon
                                                           symptoms to the operator.                            before the procedure and on completion of the
  hydrotherapy) is the practice of cleansing the colon
  using filtered and temperature regulated water via       Operator requirements
  a rectal catheter.                                                                                          • Colonic irrigation equipment should have an
                                                           Current best practice guidelines for colonic
                                                                                                                Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods
  If equipment is not sterile and infection control        irrigation recommend:
                                                                                                                (ARTG) inclusion number. Policies and
  procedures are not followed there is the                 The procedure room should:                           procedures for safe operation should be in
  potential for a range of bowel infections to be                                                               place, and the manufacturers’ instructions,
  transmitted, including hepatitis A, as well as         • Be as hygienic as possible to avoid and protect
                                                           both the client and operator from disease            including maintenance, strictly followed.
  blood borne viruses such as hepatitis B and C,
  and HIV. There is also potential for serious             transmission.                                      • Under no circumstances should the colonic
  injury.                                                • Have a hands-free basin with hot and cold            irrigation equipment be connected directly
                                                           running water supplied through a single outlet,      to a potable (drinking) water supply system.
  The procedure                                            liquid soap and paper towels.                        A direct connection could result in (a) a serious
  The first stage of the colonic irrigation                                                                     (and possibly fatal) injury to a client due to
                                                         • Have a toilet and shower for the exclusive use       application of mains pressure; and (b) under
  procedure involves massage of the lower
                                                           of the client located in the procedure room or       abnormal conditions such as a sudden drop in
  abdominal area. A sterile single use catheter is
                                                           as an ensuite.                                       mains pressure, the potable water supply could
  then gently inserted into the rectum by either
  the operator or the client. Filtered and               • Have paper towel on the client couch.                become contaminated with faecal matter.
  temperature regulated warm water, and                  • Have paper towel for each client to clean          • The tubing and catheters used in this process
  occasionally herbs or oxygen (ozone therapy), is         themselves after the irrigation procedure.           should be single use only.
  gradually introduced into the colon and natural
  evacuation of faeces occurs. If you have any           • The clinic should provide clean and comfortable    • If you have any concerns about the equipment
  allergies you should let the operator know               facilities for you to change. Clean gowns, robes     or policies and procedures you should discuss
  before the introduction of additives.                    and towels should be provided.                       this with the operator before commencing with
                                                                                                                the treatment.
                                                         • Care should be taken that the systems tubing
  Risks                                                    does not become blocked during the                   For further information contact your
  People with acute or chronic illnesses, who are          procedure.                                           local council health department or the
  suffering from diarrhoea, or who are immuno-                                                                  Communicable Disease Control Unit of the
                                                         • A water-based lubricant in a single use sachet
  compromised should seek medical advice prior                                                                  Department of Human Services
                                                           is recommended to assist catheter insertion.
  to undertaking any colonic irrigation procedure.                                                              on 1300 651 160.
                                                           Single use gloves should be worn by the
  Potential risks for any client include:                  operator when assisting a client to insert a
• Infection due to unsterile equipment that                catheter and discarded immediately after use. If
  permits backflow of faecal material to the water         the client is positioning the catheter they
                                                           should be provided with single use wipes.            NB: The provision of this fact sheet on
                                                                                                                colonic irrigation, should not be construed
• Injury to the colon, such as ulceration or             • Water temperature must be regulated to normal        to imply that the Department of Human
  perforation.                                             body temperature to prevent thermal shock or         Services in any way recommends this
                                                           scalding. The temperature of the water delivery      procedure for the purpose of better health.
• Exacerbation of chronic bowel disease such as
                                                           should be between 34 and 40°C and should
  diverticulitis, Crohn’s Disease or haemorrhoids.
                                                           never exceed 40°C. Normal body temperature
• Scalding if water temperature regulating                 should be the guide and this is 37.6°C. If you       July 2006
  controls fail.                                           have concerns about the temperature of the
                                                           water before or during the procedure, you

Department of Human Services

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