In this blog post our Lead Community Specialist Nurse, Alison Roberts, talks you through the routine she suggests for cleaning your stoma.
Having been a Stoma Nurse for many years and working in both the hospital and community, I have had the privilege of teaching many patients how to care for their stoma. The routine has never altered and the basic equipment requires is the same:
- Warm water
- Dry wipes or white kitchen towel
- Waste disposal bag
As well as the above you will have your individual requirements and products, but the basics remain the same.
Many patients use wet wipes to clean around the stoma, I personally advise against this for several reasons:
- Wet wipes contain chemicals and the additives used in the wipe is to maintain the moisture once the pack is opened. Before surgery the intestines main function is to absorb, when this is formed into a stoma it will continue to absorb, so anything that is added to the wet wipe will be absorbed by the stoma and taken around the system internally. I think you’ll agree that this isn’t a nice thought. Also, most of the wipes contain moisturisers which are greasy to help them to work, but this may also stop your pouch from sticking. For this reason we have ‘not to be used on or around your stoma’ printed on our packets.
We urge ostomates to always use warm tap water when available and if they are travelling abroad and are concerned the water isn’t clean, we recommend either using bottled water or cooled boiled water.
2. In recent news there has been a lot of coverage around the use of wet wipes. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs have said “As part of our 25-year environment plan we have pledged to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste, and that includes single-use products that include plastic such as wet wipes”.
This has made us think about what we can be doing to help this and we are now going to be mindful on the usage. We understand that wipes are needed in certain circumstances but overall as a whole we can refrain from overusing.
Did you know?
Thank you to our nurse Alison for sharing her her insight on cleaning your stoma.
We hope you have found this blog post interesting and have learned something about wet wipes usage.
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