From Stillwater-Ponca City (OK) Ostomy Outlook April 1998:

How Should A Stoma Be Protected?

via the New Outlook; and Northwest Arkansas Mail Pouch

Stomas are fairly hardy, but some common sense rules apply. Stomas should be protected from direct physical blows, from too tight clothing and from rigid objects (e.g., belt buckle).

Ostomates engaged in contact sports should protect their stomas by wearing an appliance without any rigid parts and, if desired, by wearing an abdominal binder for support.

Katherine Jetter, writing of children with stomas in These Special Children, states: "Generally speaking, stomas may be slept on, rolled on, and even sat on by another child for a few minutes without undue concern."

What's involved in stoma inspection? At each pouch change, check your stoma for color, shape and function. Watch for any stoma problems such as swelling, retraction, stenosis or prolapse. Urostomates should be on the alert for crystal formation or alkaline encrustation (gritty white deposits coating the stoma). Any stoma complication should be reported to your MD or ET.

Why will the stoma bleed sometimes? Because the mucous membrane out of which the stoma is formed is so highly vascular, some bleeding may occur with rubbing of the stoma. This bleeding should stop quickly. Prolonged bleeding and increased amounts of bleeding or very easy bleeding may indicate another problem and should be reported to your MD.

Can a stoma be cut? Cuts or lacerations of the stoma can occur and some can be quite serious. Because a stoma has no sensory nerves (and therefore no feeling), it can be cut without your actually feeling it. Causes of stomal laceration include shifting of the faceplate or skin barrier, too small an opening, incorrect pouch application, etc. Your MD or ET nurse should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment in any case of stomal laceration.

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Content last revised 1998-04-17