How to perform digital removal of faeces
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How to perform digital removal of faeces

Ian Peate Professor of nursing, Gibraltar Health Authority, Gibraltar

Rationale and key points

This article provides practitioners with information about how to perform digital removal of faeces in a safe, effective and patient-centred manner, promoting privacy and dignity. Passing faecal matter is essential to enable the elimination of waste. For some people, however, defecation is not possible without some form of intervention; this could be the administration of oral medication or an enema, insertion of suppositories or digital removal of faeces.

Bowel care is a fundamental aspect of patient care.

Digital removal of faeces should be performed by a practitioner competent in this skill.

Digital removal of faeces is an invasive procedure and should only be carried out when necessary following holistic patient assessment.

Reflective activity

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Nursing Standard. 30, 40,36-39. doi: 10.7748/ns.30.40.36.s43


Peer review

All articles are subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software.

Received: 03 March 2016

Accepted: 14 April 2016