Phosphate Enema Causing Life-Threatening Rectal Perforation

Phosphate Enema Causing Life-Threatening Rectal Perforation

N. Bobb, V. Naraynsingh, S. Islam, Y. Singh, D. Harnanan, S. Cawich

Department of Clinical Surgical Sciences The University of the West Indies, Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mount Hope, Trinidad, West Indies.

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We report a near fatal rectal perforation due to a phosphate enema in an elderly male. The presentation in septic shock within 4 hours of the enema is quite rare. Early recognition and prompt management are essential for a good outcome. A defunctioning colostomy is standard for these cases but we recommend a distal rectal washout since intraluminal faeces in a loaded rectum could be a cause of ongoing sepsis. Although enemas are commonly used for constipation in the elderly, suppositories and oral preparations should be used preferentially where appropriate.

Keywords: Enema, Rectal Perforation, Septic Shock

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How to cite this article:

N. Bobb, V. Naraynsingh, S. Islam, Y. Singh, D. Harnanan, S. Cawich. Phosphate Enema Causing Life-Threatening Rectal Perforation. International Journal of Case Reports, 2020; 4:167. DOI: 10.28933/ijcr-2020-10-0805


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