I've been reading about an interesting technique called Proctoclysis
Basically giving fluids like Pedialite, gatoraid or a solution of water/sugar/salt/bakingsoda,slowy thru the rectum. A tube, like a foley catheder is inserted 1-2 feet into the large intestine (got lube?) and upto 400 ml of fluid is given over a period of 20 minutes.: proc·toc·ly·ses (-sz)
The slow, continuous, drop-by-drop administration of saline solution into the rectum and sigmoid colon. Also called Murphy drip.
From what I've read... this is an alternative to needle IV when needles or experienced med personel are not available. Or when the patient is vomiting and cannot take oral fluids, or unconcious. Elderly and hospice patients sometimes prefer this to painful needle IV's with the associated infection risks.
Not to be confused with an emema, similar, but less fluid is absorbed in a shorter time. Murphy drip is given over a much longer time and adds up to much larger amounts of fluid absorbed.
The fluids are absorbed thru the colon and passed to the kidneys with selective uptake of salts. So there is much less danger of unstabilizing the patient with fluid or salt imbalance than traditional IV. Air in a murphy drip, at worst ,just results in a fart, rather than a dangerous embolisim that can kill the patient. Needle IV's have serious hazards that even trained medical personel have difficulty with in some cases. Unskilled laymen generally should not mess with needle IV's (unless you have to).
It won't deliver as much or as fast as a needle IV, but if all you need is a foley cat and some fluid and it could mean a big difference for someone in need if you can't get an IV. Not an everyday thing, but under austere circumstances this is a recommened alternative to a needle IV.
Nothing is free, there are some risks to be aware of. The precautions are the same for enemas:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murphy_drip" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;Precautions
Improper administration of an enema may cause electrolyte imbalance (with repeated enemas) or ruptures to the bowel or rectal tissues resulting in internal bleeding. However, these occurrences are rare in healthy, sober adults. Internal bleeding or rupture may leave the individual exposed to infections from intestinal bacteria. Blood resulting from tears in the colon may not always be visible, but can be distinguished if the feces are unusually dark or have a red hue. If intestinal rupture is suspected, medical assistance should be obtained immediately.
The enema tube and solution may stimulate the vagus nerve, which may trigger an arrhythmia such as bradycardia. Enemas should not be used if there is an undiagnosed abdominal pain since the peristalsis of the bowel can cause an inflamed appendix to rupture.
Colonic irrigation should not be used in people with diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, severe or internal hemorrhoids or tumors in the rectum or colon. It also should not be used soon after bowel surgery (unless directed by one's health care provider). Regular treatments should be avoided by people with heart disease or renal failure. Colonics are inappropriate for people with bowel, rectal or anal pathologies where the pathology contributes to the risk of bowel perforation.