Editors Note: The following is an abstract of an upcoming perspective article.
The risk of transmission of Norovirus and Clostridium difficile (C. diff) infections in acute care environments are a persistent problem. New fecal management systems can help significantly decrease these infections by preventing contact between patient’s stool and healthcare workers, avoiding environmental contamination of the patient area, providing safe ongoing diversion of stool, as well as increasing the comfort and dignity to patients.
Fecal incontinence (FI) presents a major challenge in safe and comprehensive nursing care of acutely and critically ill patients. When manifested as diarrhea, the effects of fecal incontinence can range from mild skin irritation to the more profound, including severe perineal dermatitis, dehydration, infection transmission, and sepsis.1 FI plays a significant risk factor in the transmission of C. diff and Noroviruses, which are most commonly transmitted via the fecal-oral route. This follows transient contamination of the hands of healthcare workers, patient hands and contamination of the patient care environment.2,3
Effective fecal management systems provide for the containment and diversion of stool, which is of liquid or semi liquid consistency. They help keep the skin clean and dry and free from contaminants and moisture that contribute to skin breakdown, while preventing contamination of the hands of healthcare workers and the patient care environment. The potential spread of infection is significantly minimized by keeping infectious body waste contained in a closed system during application and ongoing use.4
Traditional use of adapted Foley’s rectal catheters has shown to reduce risk of complications commonly associated with traditional management. However, these devices introduced a new set of risks involving injury to the rectum and sphincter dysfunction due to the constant high pressures on the pressure sensitive anorectal junction and rectal mucosa. These issues can lead to leakage of a patient’s stool.4
New, closed- system stool management solutions are available that hygienically contains liquid to semi-formed stool. Use of this innovation will reduce the risk of complications related to stool management, and increase the overall safety to patients and healthcare workers from environmental contamination and infection transmission – while contributing positively to the comfort and dignity of patients suffering from FI.5
- Beitz, J. M. (2006). Fecal incontinence in acutely and critically ill patients: options in management. Ostomy Wound Manage, 52(12), 56-58.
- Center for Disease Control (2011) Clostridium difficile Infection Information for Patients. Center for Disease Control. Accessed May 23, 2017 https://www.cdc.gov/hai/organisms/cdiff/cdiff-patient.html
- Robilotti, E., Deresinski, S., & Pinsky, B. A. (2015). Norovirus. Clinical microbiology reviews, 28(1), 134-164.
- Whiteley, I., Sinclair, G., Lyons, A. M., & Riccardi, R. (2014). A retrospective review of outcomes using a fecal management system in acute care patients. Ostomy/wound management, 60(12), 37-43.
- Consure Medical (2017) Qora Stool Management . Consure Medical. Accessed May 23, 2017 http://consuremedical.com/qora-platform.html