Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia.
1. washing of a body cavity or wound by a stream of water or other fluid. A steady, gentle stream is used; pressure should be sufficient to reach the desired area, but not enough to force the fluid beyond the area to be irrigated. Pressure may be applied manually, such as with a bulb syringe or mechanical device, or by gravity. The greater the height of the container of solution, the greater will be the pressure exerted by the stream of solution. There are also specially designed irrigating units that deliver a pulsed flow of fluid. Return flow of solution must always be allowed for. Directions about the type of solution to be used, the strength desired, and correct temperature should be followed carefully. Aseptic technique must be observed if sterile irrigation is ordered.
2. a liquid used for such washing.
bladder irrigation in the nursing interventions classification, a nursing intervention defined as instillation of a solution into the bladder to provide cleansing or medication.
bowel irrigation in the nursing interventions classification, a nursing intervention defined as instillation of a substance into the lower gastrointestinal tract.
wound irrigation in the nursing interventions classification, a nursing intervention defined as flushing of an open wound to cleanse and remove debris and excessive drainage.
wound ir·ri·ga·tion(wūnd ir'i-gā'shŭn)
A method of cleaning debris from a wound that involves the use of solution under pressure.