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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.
the rinsing of a wound or the cavity formed by a wound using a medicated solution, water, or saline, or antimicrobial liquid preparation.
method A sterile irrigating solution is poured into a sterile bowl. It is then warmed in a basin of warm water unless the solution's action depends on antibiotic or enzyme activity, which would be inhibited by warming. An emesis or kidney basin is then fitted snugly against the patient's body beneath the wound. It may be held in place by the patient or by an assistant. A catheter is held with sterile gloves or forceps and gently inserted into the wound to a prescribed depth and at a prescribed angle. A syringe filled with irrigating solution is then attached to the catheter, and the solution is gently instilled. The catheter is pinched before the empty syringe is removed to prevent aspiration of the return irrigation flow during disconnection. The syringe is filled and attached again, and the wound is irrigated until the returning solution runs clear. If a catheter is not used, the solution is sprayed directly on the wound from the syringe until the wound looks clean. After irrigation is completed, the body area is dried with sterile sponges working from the wound out to the area around it, and a dry sterile dressing is applied.
interventions Frequency of irrigation, type of solution, and amount of solution to be used are specifically prescribed. The condition of the wound, amount of irrigating solution used, and appearance of the returned solution should be documented.
a nursing intervention from the Nursing Interventions Classification (NIC) defined as flushing of an open wound to cleanse and remove debris and excessive drainage. See also Nursing Interventions Classification.
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.
n the use of water or medicated solution to rinse a wound or the cavity created by a wound to cleanse the region as well as remove excessive discharge and debris.