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Resource type: Article

Bowels management in ICU

Bowel management system (BMS) is a tube that is inserted into the rectum from the bottom. It is used in patients in ICU who have problems with diarrhoea. The diarrhoea is collected in a drainage bag.  This often used when the skin on the bottom gets very sore and red from frequently having diarrhoea. Using the BMS will help the skin to heal.

Laxatives are a type of medicine that is used in ICU to patient constipation (not pooing regularly).  Constipation is commonly seen in ICU patients due to the sedation, pain killers and lack of movement experienced. If the patient is breathing for themselves, they might be given it by mouth otherwise, a liquid version of the medication will be given down the feeding tube.

A Stoma is an opening that is made through the tummy (abdominal) wall. There are many reasons why a patient might have a stoma. Common reasons include bowel or bladder cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, or a blockage to the bladder or bowel.  They can be temporary or permanent depending on the cause and surgery done. The stoma connects the bowel to the surface of the tummy. Having a stoma means poo (stools) will not pass out of the rectum and anus in the usual way. Instead, it will pass out of the stoma, into a disposable bag that is worn over the stoma. The nurses will empty the stoma bag regularly and monitor the amount coming out.