Rectal Tube Insertion and Removal
Whether GI hypomotility simply slows the normal release of gas and feces or results in paralytic ileus, inserting a rectal tube may relieve the discomfort of distention and flatus. Decreased motility may result from various medical or surgical conditions, certain medications (such as atropine), or even swallowed air. Conditions that contraindicate using a rectal tube include recent rectal or prostatic surgery, recent myocardial infarction, and diseases of the rectal mucosa.
Stethoscope ▪ linen-saver pads ▪ drape ▪ water-soluble lubricant ▪ commercial kit or #22 to #34 French rectal tube of soft rubber or plastic ▪ container (emesis basin, plastic bag, or water bottle with vent) ▪ tape ▪ gloves ▪ equipment for performing perineal care.
Gather all the equipment at the patient’s bedside.
Confirm the patient’s identity using at least two patient identifiers according to your facility’s policy.4
Provide privacy and explain the procedure. Answer all questions to decrease anxiety and increase cooperation.
Check for abdominal distention. Using the stethoscope, auscultate for bowel sounds.
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