Administration of Rectal Suppositories or Enemas

 

Enemas Suppositories
  1. If someone else is administering the enema, lie on your left side with knees bent or in the knee-to-chest position (see drawings A and B). Position A is preferred for children older than 2 years. If self-administering the enema, lie on your back with your knees bent and buttocks raised (see drawing C). A pillow may be placed under the buttocks.
  2. If using a concentrated enema solution, dilute solution according to the product instructions. Prepare 1 pint (500 mL) for adults and 1/2 pint (250 mL) for children.
  3. Lubricate the enema tip with petroleum jelly or other nonmedicated ointment/cream. Apply the lubricant to the anal area as well.
  4. Gently insert the enema tip 2 (recommended depth for children) to 3 in. into the rectum.
  5. Allow the solution to flow into the rectum slowly. If you experience discomfort, the flow is probably too fast.
  6. Retain the enema solution until definite lower abdominal cramping is felt. The parent/caregiver may have to gently hold a child's buttocks closed to prevent the solution from being expelled too soon.
  1. Gently squeeze the suppository to determine if it is firm enough to insert. Chill a soft suppository by placing it in the refrigerator for a few minutes or by running it under cool running water.
  2. Remove the suppository from its wrapping.
  3. Dip the suppository for a few seconds in lukewarm water to soften the exterior.
  4. Lie on your left side with knees bent or in the knee-to-chest position (see drawings A and B). Position A is best for self-administration of a suppository. Small children can be held in a crawling position.
  5. Relax the buttock just before inserting the suppository to ease insertion. Gently insert the tapered end of the suppository high into the rectum. If the suppository slips out, it was not inserted past the anal sphincter (the muscle that keeps the rectum closed).
  6. Continue to lie down for a few minutes and hold the buttocks together to allow the suppository to dissolve in the rectum. The parent/caregiver may have to gently hold a child's buttocks closed.
  7. Remember that the medication is most effective when the bowel is empty. Try to avoid a bowel movement after insertion of the suppository for up to 1 hour so that the intended action can occur.

Download: Administration of Rectal Suppositories or Enemas