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A Novel Device for Fecal Impaction: "The DisImpactor"

Robert Glatter, MD, Emergency Medicine, 10:03PM Feb 26, 2013

Every so often a novel device comes along that has the ability to change your practice: this one may have the ability to help with this dreaded and often times messy procedure--digital disimpaction.

Its called the "Disimpactor", an invention of Nuvomed, ( and the brainchild of Dr. Burton Bentley, a practicing emergency physician. It is a patented Class 1 FDA registered disposable medical device that may just be able to make your life a bit easier and will be commercially available in April, 2013.

As we all know, doing a digital disimpaction utilizing a gloved finger is generally inefficient, painful and uncomfortable for all involved. According to literature from Nuvomed, "using a curved finger actually increases patient pain without providing a mechanical advantage against the impacted fecal load".

The company claims that their product "provides an innovative solution for the complete relief of fecal impaction". They claim that their device is better than a digital approach because it can substantially reduce pain associated with disimpaction. The company also claims that overall procedure time is shortened.

The structure of the device offers features to break up the stool, along with a leur lock adapter for enema installation deeply into the impaction. This improvement in pain, according to the company, is due to a physical reduction in stool bulk combined with fecal softening due to enema fluid.

In a small study of 14 subjects by Dr. Bentley, the device alone relieved the impaction in 50% of the participants. No patient required digital disimpaction, and no patient who completed the protocol in the study required hospitalization for further disimpaction. Only one patient withdrew from the procedure due to pain associated with the procedure and there were no complications or adverse effects during this small study.

Any thoughts??

Poll: Would you consider using this new device for patients with fecal impaction? Yes|No|
About This Blog

This medical blog focuses on relevant clinical issues and concerns for practicing emergency physicians. Our goal is to share interesting cases, clinical pearls of useful information, relevant journal articles, as well as touch on the psychosocial, legislative, and medico-legal aspects of emergency medicine. The blog encourages the exchange of information in an unbiased and open manner.

Robert Glatter, MD is the only active blogger

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  • Robert Glatter

    Robert Glatter, MD, FAAEM, is a member of the Editorial Board of Medscape Emergency Medicine and serves as Chair of the AAEM Society Page on Medscape Emergency Medicine. Dr. Glatter also serves as a clinical reviewer and author for AAEM's Ask the Expert series. He has also been a member of the Education and ACCME Committees of AAEM since 2004. Dr. Glatter is currently Attending Physician in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, NY, where he has been practicing emergency medicine since 2002. He completed his residency in emergency medicine at Kings County Hospital/SUNY Downstate after graduating from Emory University School of Medicine.

The content of this blog does not necessarily reflect the viewpoints of Medscape.
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