from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A washing, especially of a hollow organ, such as the stomach or lower bowel, with repeated injections of water.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A washing.
  • n. A washing of a hollow organ.
  • v. To wash a hollow organ

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • An obsolete form of lavish.
  • n. A laving or washing; in medicine, the process of cleansing by injection of fluids; specifically, the washing out of the stomach, as in gastritis.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. washing out a hollow organ (especially the stomach) by flushing with water


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

French, from Old French, from laver, to wash, from Latin lavāre; see leu(ə)- in Indo-European roots.


  • Ipecac's safety in the elderly has not been established, and may even have adverse effects. 18 Gastric lavage and activated charcoal are the preferred methods for GI decontamination in the older adult. 6


  • Standard decontamination procedures should be followed in the conscious patient, including emesis with syrup of ipecac or gastric lavage, activated charcoal and a cathartic.

    Monamine Oxidase Inhibitors

  • If bowel sounds are absent, at least one dose of activated charcoal can be administered and then removed by lavage within two hours in order to avoid concretions.


  • Gastric lavage should be performed with a large bore gastric tube to remove all tablets until the return is clear.


  • Early gastrointestinal decontamination, including gastric lavage, may be life-saving.

    Colchicine Poisoning

  • If there is evidence of iron tablets in the stomach, lavage with a 1-5percent sodium bicarbonate solution may be instituted as it theoretically results in the formation of the less absorbable ferrous carbonate; however, clinical benefits are questionable.

    Iron Poisoning

  • Decontamination: Orogastric lavage with saline followed by activated charcoal.

    Aspirin: effects, poisoning

  • The risk of aspiration during vomiting or lavage far outweighs any benefit from removal of the substance.

    Hydrocarbon Ingestion

  • The use of deferoxamine in the lavage solution is controversial.

    Iron Poisoning

  • Aspiration can occur at the time of ingestion, or during vomiting or gastric lavage. 9 Aspiration can occur from minute amounts of hydrocarbon.

    Hydrocarbon Ingestion


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  • "The eaters are not prodigious trenchermen; they may even have trouble tolerating the unfamiliar food when it is in their mouths, but they mime huge pleasure. When they are to slaver they fill their mouths with jelly and let it dribble out. Sometimes they are droll, they go to bite a tomato which explodes in their faces or they don huge rubbery false teeth which bend about instead of biting. One might wonder if they really eat or if they go backstage to be sick and collect their pay. Does their union demand colonic lavage?"

    - 'The Expense Of Spirit', Germaine Greer in Sunday Times, 1971.

    April 6, 2008