From Stillwater-Ponca City (OK) Ostomy Outlook January 2006:

Keeping Your Pouch Odor Proof

by Victor Alterescu, RNET; via Quad City (IL) Newsletter and S. Brevard (FL) Newsletter

Rinsing a pouch out each time it is emptied is primarily a waste of time. For one thing, it takes longer to empty the pouch and you need more materials around you. You also leave more odor in the room since the pouch is kept open longer. The water, especially if it is warm, may open the pores of the pouch material and encourage odor permeation. Also, rinsing can affect the seal of your adhesive.

Rinsing a pouch after each emptying serves only an aesthetic purpose; the interior of the pouch may be clean but it does not serve a functional purpose. Frankly, it does not matter whether the interior of your pouch is clean any more than it matters if the interior of your colon is clean. The pouch is replacing an organ of storage, the colon and/or rectum.

The most important portion of the pouch that should be cleansed very thoroughly is the tip of the drainable pouch.

Rinsing the interior can only increase permeation but cleaning the exterior neck will avoid any odor that may be present as a result of having fecal residue on the end of the pouch. Therefore, I often recommend that a person carry an alcohol wipe (individually wrapped in foil) to clean the tip of the pouch. The pouch is emptied, the toilet flushed immediately, and the lower portion of the exterior pouch cleansed with toilet tissue and alcohol.

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This page last revised 2006-01-05
This article appeared in the North Central Oklahoma newsletter Ostomy Outlook. If you'd like to receive this newsletter on a regular basis, please Sign Up for our Newsletter Email List.

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