The benefits of using transanal irrigation in my paediatric practice 

Michelle Newton, Paediatric Community Specialist Nurse, Bensham Hospital, Gateshead, Newcastle 

I am passionate about the benefits of using transanal irrigation (TAI) for children with bowel problems such as chronic constipation. I have seen many times how it has prevented hospital stays for disimpaction and stopped multiple attendances at A&E. I have seen how it can stop the misery and heart ache which constipation and soiling causes children and their families.  

Transanal irrigation is not for every child or family so a good initial assessment and ongoing follow up are important. I am part of a focus group who have developed a pathway to support other practitioners with this decision making. 

Knowing there are a variety of irrigation systems, such as the Qufora IrriSedo range, which are developed in response to practitioner feedback, allows the right equipment to be chosen for each child. 

I get great job satisfaction knowing I have changed not only a child’s but a family’s life by being able to prescribe transanal irrigation. 

Here are some examples of how Michelle’s interventions with TAI have made a difference: 

I have a child with a condition usually resulting in a stoma. TAI was introduced, using Qufora IrriSedo Cone, to delay surgery until they were old enough to understand. Six years later, they are not even contemplating surgery – there is no soiling and poos daily. We are now thinking about alternate day irrigation. I’m so pleased we introduced TAI and thank the paediatrician who then supported us with this plan. 

A 10-year-old child… 

Qufora IrriSedo MiniGo Flex was added in, to be used on alternate days, alongside stimulant suppositories as the supply of these was unreliable during COVID. After using TAI the first time, they have never used suppositories again. TAI worked straight away, with a good bowel movement, so they could go out to play with their friends more! 

From the parent of a 5-year-old child who was taught to use Qufora IrriSedo MiniGo Flex…. 

“It was hard to think about doing this to your child but with help I continued, and my child accepted this as part of their routine. Before irrigation we had soiled nappies all the time and oral medication was not effective. Now my child is fully toilet trained, no more nappies, I did not think this was achievable 6 months ago.”