From Stillwater-Ponca City (OK) Ostomy Outlook July 1999:

Ostomy Procedures That Can Backfire

via Orange County; via Metro Maryland; and Fort Worth (TX) New Directions

There are times when we think we are doing the right thing or take a "logical" shortcut, but inadvertently get ourselves into trouble. As is said, the "road to hell is paved with good intentions." Here are some instances to think about.

Using alcohol to clean the skin around the stoma: Alcohol is a powerful drying agent. Prolonged contact with the skin can have serious consequences.

Wrapping the drainable pouch tail around and around the clamp before closing it: This will not make the clamp work better. All it will do is spring the clamp out of shape, which will ensure that the clamp will not work for future applications, and which will make the releasing of excess gas more difficult.

Snapping the pouch off the face plate ring to expel gas: This procedure does not do much for odor control. It is better to hold the tail of the pouch beyond the clamp with a tissue with deodorant on it. Then hold the pouch up so that only gas is at the clamp, open the clamp and push the gas out through the tissue with the deodorant. Then use the tissue to clean out the end of the pouch and replace the clamp.

Wearing the appliance for as long as you can until it leaks: The object is to change the appliance before leakage occurs. This way your skin gets the best protection and care. Five to seven days wearing time is good.

Washing pouches in the washing machine and using the same pouch for months: Eventually, the plastic of the pouches is saturated with odor of the chemicals and no amount of washing will get rid of it. Throw the pouch away when throwing the face plate away.

Insisting on trying every new pouch and new product you hear about: Although it is fine to experiment with new appliances, especially if you are unhappy with your usual equipment, you generally get the best service from the equipment with which you have the most experience and practice.

Ignoring skin problems: All the skin problems are easier to treat if they are found early.

Letting the pouch get full before emptying it: Excess weight will separate a 2-piece system and will put excess weight on the face plate, resulting in early failures. Empty the pouch when it is about one-third to one-half full.

Not using seat belts in a car: A well-placed and adjusted seat belt should not interfere with the stoma function or damage your stoma. True, in an accident your stoma may be damaged, but it is a lot easier to repair a stoma than a crushed skull.

It is not a good idea to try to live with a condition that you cannot correct yourself: When in doubt, see your ET Nurse or your doctor.

Back to Stillwater-Ponca City UOA Newsletter Index
This page is maintained by the OstomyOK webmaster
Content last revised 1999-07-25