Management of faecal incontinence in graft-versus-host disease.


Graft-versus-host disease (GvHD), a common yet serious complication of allogeneic haemopoietic stem cell transplantation, can cause significant morbidity and negatively impact on patients' quality of life. The gastrointestinal tract is frequently affected resulting in nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain and profuse diarrhoea (Washington and Jagasia, 2009) which can be both distressing and humiliating for patients. The volume of watery, green diarrhoea produced can be greater than 2 litres per day (Ferrara et al, 2009) and is one indicator of the severity of GvHD. It may, in some cases, lead to faecal incontinence. Management of GvHD-associated diarrhoea involves the use of high-dose steroids to control the exaggerated immune response, anti-diarrhoeal medication, management of fluid and electrolytes, and nutritional management. It may also require management of faecal incontinence and prevention of incontinence-associated dermatitis. This paper describes the pathology of GvHD, the management of GvHD-associated diarrhoea and faecal incontinence and discusses the potential use of a faecal management system inappropriately selected individuals with uncontrolled diarrhoea and limited mobility.

Cite this paper

@article{Woodward2012ManagementOF, title={Management of faecal incontinence in graft-versus-host disease.}, author={Sue Woodward}, journal={British journal of nursing}, year={2012}, volume={21 2}, pages={84, 86-8} }