Hints & Tips

Always have a change of clothes and  extra ostomy supplies at work.

Set out your supplies on the counter when it is time to change your appliance before you remove the old one.
(See video)

When travelling, always take 3 times as many supplies as you think you will need.

Keep a list of all important phone numbers, product codes of your supplies (and sizes), name of your ET, if
you have one, and a step by step note of how to change your appliance in case you are unable to.

On an airplane, always carry your supplies with you. Lost luggage is an all too common occurrence.

When travelling in a vehicle, never store your supplies in the trunk or glove compartment. Excessive heat
and cold can greatly affect your wear time. Keep them in a soft sided cooler in the car, use an icepack if the
interior of the car gets too hot (making sure that the icepack is in a plastic baggie as not to get your supplies (wet).

Skipping meals will cause your pouch to fill up with gas.

Drink 8 glasses of water a day. Ostomates get dehydrated very quickly.

Medications that are time released or long lasting are not effective in ostomates. Ask your pharmacist or
doctor for liquid or chewable form. (See video)

Make sure a family member or friend knows where you store your supplies at home, in case they need to get them for you in an emergency.

Always take your own supplies to the hospital with you.

Hernias are very dangerous for ostomates. Never lift more than 20 lbs if possible and always lift with your legs. When shovelling snow, use your hips as leverage against the shovel, not your abdomen. Better yet, let someone else do it for you!

When swimming for longer periods of time, use a skin barrier wipe on the paper tape of your flange to make it waterproof.

Itching under the flange is one of the first signs of a leak. If you detect a bit of odor along with the itching,
then you can almost be sure that the seal is starting to break down.

Don't wait until you run out of supplies before you order more. Your supplier might be out of stock and then
you are really in trouble. a general rule of thumb could be, when you reach half of the box,order more.

When using a public restroom, attach the pouch clip (If you use one) to your watchband or beltloop. There is nothing more frustrating than having to fish it out of the bowl. It is also a good idea to carry an extra clip in your purse or pocket for that very reason.

A small amount of mouthwash in your pouch after emptying will keep it odor free for the next time when you have to empty it.(See video)

Eating a few large marshmallows may slow down output, which is helpful when it is time to change the

Chew, chew, chew your food to avoid blockage.

The first sign of blockage is either no output or very liquid output. Severe abdominal pain and vomiting will
almost always accompany a blockage. See BLOCKAGE below

Leg cramps are a sign of not having enough fluids.

Wearing pants that are too tight for a long period of time will affect the wear time of the appliance.

Keep a diary of when you last changed your appliance in order to know whether the time has come when you should change it again.

To protect your skin from damage, don't wait until your pouch starts leaking. Try to figure out how many
days you usually get out of your appliance and change it before you get a leak.

Remember that your stoma might change its' size and shape over time. Periodically check it with a mirror to make sure that your flange fits properly. The hole in your flange should be no more than 1/8? larger than your stoma.

Try to avoid bending over at the waist for long periods of time. This might cause some discomfort and might
also affect the seal of the appliance.

If you notice any blood in the pouch, see your doctor immediately. Your stoma will bleed a little while you are cleaning around it, but it should stop within a minute or so. If it doesn't then keep an eye on it and let
your doctor know if the bleeding continues.

Your stoma should be a bright red colour , if it starts to look pale or grey, you should seek medical advice.

Courtesy of Niagra Ostomy Association

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: Thin, clear liquid output with foul odor; cramping abdominal pain near the stoma; decrease in amount of or dark-colored urine, abdominal and stomal swelling.

Step One: At Home
1.Cut the opening of your pouch a little larger than normal because the stoma may swell.

2.If there is stomal output and you are not nauseated or vomiting, only consume liquids such as Coke, sports drinks, or tea.

3.Take a warm bath to relax the abdominal muscles.

4.Try several different body positions, such as a knee-chest position, as it might help move the blockage forward.

5.Massage the abdomen and the area around the stoma as this might increase the pressure behind the blockage and help it to “pop out.” Most food blockages occur just below the stoma.

Step Two: If you are still blocked, vomiting, or have no stomal output for several hours:

1.Call your doctor or ET Nurse and report what is happening and what you tried at home to alleviate the problem. Your doctor or ET Nurse will give you instructions (ex., meet at the emergency room, come to the office). If you are told to go to the emergency room, the doctor or ET Nurse can call in orders for your care there.

2.If you cannot reach your ET Nurse or doctor and there is no output from the stoma, go to the emergency room immediately.



(eg., pouch, wafer, tail closure, skin barrier spray, irrigation sleeve etc.)
Courtesy of UOAA
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(See video)