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Rectal probing

Insertion into the rectum through the anus of a rectal probe.


– To favor the evacuation of accumulated gases and feces. – Decrease abdominal distension. – Facilitate the administration of enemas.


– Towels. – Wedge or basin.

– Material: – Hygienic compresses. – Swabs. – Sponge. – Neutral soap. – Non-sterile gloves. – Rectal probe of appropriate size. – Non-sterile gauze. – Water-soluble lubricant. – Soaker. – Anti-allergic plaster. – Garbage bag. – Nursing records.


– Perform hand washing. – Prepare the material. – Preserve patient’s privacy. – Explain the procedure to the patient. – Ask the patient and family to cooperate. – Put on non-sterile gloves. – Place the patient in Sims position. – Lubricate the rectal probe abundantly, about 10 cm from its tip. – Separate the buttock and locate the anus. – Instruct the patient to take a deep breath and insert the probe slowly in the direction of the umbilicus. To administer enema, insert 7-10 cm to evacuate gases 10-15 cm (in adults). In children 5-7.5 cm. In infants 2,5-3,5 – Fix the tube with adhesive tape and connect to a chosen drainage system or to the wedge. – Remove the tube slowly. – Perform genital hygiene, if necessary. – Leave the patient in position.

– Collect the material. – Remove gloves. – Perform hand washing. – Record in the nursing documentation the procedure performed, reason, date and time, incidences and patient’s response.


– Do not keep the rectal probe for more than 30 minutes. it can cause lesions in the rectal mucosa. – Take special precautions in patients with arrhythmias due to possible vagal reaction. – In the presence of hemorrhoids and fistulas, ask the patient to defecate when inserting the probe.

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