Symptoms questions in conjunction with irrigation.
Q: What if bleeding should occur?
A: A small amount of bleeding or smearing of blood on the cone may occur and should not alarm you. More severe or sustained rectal bleeding with or without pain suggests a possible bowel perforation, which should be treated as a medical emergency and requires immediate medical attention.
Q: What should I do if I feel pain?
A: If cramps, discomfort, or pain occur while instilling the water, pause instillation for a few moments and continue more slowly once the discomfort has subsided, ensure that the water is warm enough, at body temperature. If pain is severe or persistent stop the irrigation immediately. It could be perforation of the bowel which should be treated as a medical emergency.
Q: What if I feel sweating, palpitations or dizziness during irrigation?
A: If you have a spinal cord injury this may be a sign of autonomic dysreflexia. Instill the water slowly and limit the time on the toilet depending on tolerance. If symptoms are bothersome, ensure that you are not alone when irrigating until symptoms at each TAI are reduced or minimised. If you are at risk of autonomic dysreflexia, you should have medication easily at hand. If autonomic dysreflexia occurs, stop the irrigation immediately. Further assessment and possibly other treatments are required before continuing with TAI.
Q: Is the risk of bowel perforation higher the longer I irrigate?
A: No, the evidence shows that the risk of bowel perforation does not increase the longer you use TAI.