Only four autonomous communities finance transanal irrigation treatment, the only effective against the problem of fecal incontinence, as announced yesterday by the General Council of Nursing. Madrid, Murcia, the Valencian Community and the Basque Country are the only ones to cover the expenses of this treatment that would make life easier for more than 70,000 people in Spain. A new fact that opens the debate on the differences of public health between the autonomous communities, since the cost of the devices for transanal irrigation exceeds 2,300 euros per patient per year, and so far had to pay their income own affected.
Patients with multiple sclerosis, people affected by spinal cord injury, patients with cancer of the colon and rectum, and even children with spina bifida or Hirschsprung's disease, suffer from this pathology that complicates their daily life. Although there are more traditional treatments for this problem – such as diet, the use of laxatives and antidiarrheals or digital stimulation – the results do not give much hope. It is for this reason that the transanal irrigation treatment is born, which consists of a device that allows the patient to empty the bowel periodically, without the patient suffering. A need that affects more than 60% of the 38,000 people with spinal cord injury in Spain, and more than half of the 45,000 who have multiple sclerosis. This is also the case of children with spina bifida, which affects more than 10% of the population, and of those suffering from Hirschsprung's disease, whose incidence is 1 case per 5,000 births per year.
The representatives of the General Council of Nursing emphasized that this problem also affects children and adolescents who have to go to school with a diaper when there is an effective solution to control sphincters. In addition, they also spoke about the psychological impact that can be "terrible" for patients with spinal cord injury, who say that suffering this "is worse than not being able to walk". Patients and professionals, they maintain that "it will mark a before and after".