How To Administer High-Volume Colonic Enemas

In this training video, a GI nurse at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia discusses high-volume colonic enemas, why your child may need his colon flushed out regularly, and how to administer an enema at home.


High-Volume Colonic Enemas Intro

Nicole: Hi I'm Nicole, I'm one of the GI nurses here at The Children's Hospital in Philadelphia. This video is going to demonstrate how to administer saline high-volume enemas. There are three different delivery methods that we'll use to deliver the enemas, but the goals will remain the same. The goal is to keep the colon clean, to have soft stools and also to prevent soiling or leakage or accidents from occurring throughout the day.

These types of enemas aren't the type that you would buy at your local pharmacy. They're actually a large volume enema based off of what your physician or nurse practitioner orders. And again, the idea is to flush out the colon and to treat chronic constipation.

Things to remember when you're administering an enema. You want to be confident and you want to be positive when giving the enema to your child. You also want to put aside an hour of time in the evening to make sure you have enough time to perform the procedure. You also want to provide your child with a distraction toy or something like that, so that they don't get bored while you're providing the enema. So, things like a book or a hand-held game, something again to just provide some distraction. 

After you administer the enema, you want to allow your child to sit on the toilet for at least 30 to 45 minutes to help evacuate the colon.

Interesting enough, this is a gravity flow system. So, the higher that you place the enema bag when you’re administering the enema, the faster the flow will go. If you'd like to slow down the flow of the enema, you'll need to just lower the bag.

Related Centers and Programs: Kohl's GI Nutrition and Diagnostic Center, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition