Ask an Ostomy Lifestyle Expert

Support at a Nursing Home

Question:

In desperate need of some assistance, guidance. My mom is in a nursing home in London … ileostomy surgery in early 2016.

I’ve tried to contact Hollister a number of times with no support – have also contact London Ostomy supplies and the nursing staff at Mount Hope.

Issue: the pouch bursts 2-3 times per week (like a zipper coming undone).

Basically she has no support at the nursing home – most of the nurses are not trained in wound care so one concern is the # of bags being tossed in the garbage because they can’t secure properly and then once the bag is on most times it just “unsticks” and breaks.

She is embarrassed, stressed, and has lost any sort of dignity. Would not come over for Christmas due to concern over bag breaking (which it did).
I am going to again approach the contact at the nursing home, local Ostomy group, but I am looking for any contact who could assess my mom and provide some solution.

When discharged from LHSC product was Coloplast which never worked – I was able to get some support last year and had her switched to Hollister – which doesn’t seem the right fit now.

Response:

Thank you for your excellent question. How frustrating it has been for you and your mom.

Please see the link below to find a NSWOC nurse in London. When I did the search I found 5-6 NSWOC nurses to contact. (NSWOC nurses are nurses specializing in wound, ostomy and continence care)
https://memberscaet.ca/find.phtml

The NSWOC nurse can assess the consistency of the ileostomy stool and recommend foods to thicken the stool such as white bread, pasta, peanut butter, apple sauce or medications such as Imodium. There are also products that are put inside the pouch to thicken the stool, examples of this are Ilesorb by Cymed. Or Nu-Sorb made by Nu-Hope.

The NSWOC nurse can also assess exactly what the problem is; is the pouch bursting because it is faulty or too full? Or you also mentioned that the pouch is not secured properly. Do you mean that the pouch is not secure to the flange if she is using a 2 piece system or it the pouching system not secure to the skin?

If your mom is using a 2 piece system, there are high output pouches available that fit onto the flange. These pouches would give her more capacity. https://www.hollister.com/en/products/Ostomy-Care-Products/Two-Piece-Pouching-Systems/High-Output-Pouches/New-Image-Two-Piece-High-Output-Drainable-Ostomy-Pouch

Is your Mom doing her own ostomy care? Does she empty the pouch on her own? How often does she empty the pouch? In general, people with an ileostomy empty their pouch between 6-12 times a day. The pouch should be emptied when it is about 1/3rd full.

Another resource to look at is the Peristomal Assessment guide. http://psag-consumer.wocn.org/#home

When one has an ostomy and experiences leakage and embarrassment, the problem must be solved.

Thank you for being such a good advocate for your Mom.

Andrea Manson RN, BSN, NSWOC, NCA, all-round nice person, now retired 😉

Our friends over at Nurses Specialized In Wound, Ostomy And Continence Canada [NSWOCC] (formerly called The Canadian Association for Enterostomal Therapy (CAET)) have renamed their handy look-up page on their website. It was formerly called “Find An ET Nurse” and is now called “Find a NSWOC“. Click on the image to the left or link here to go to their site.

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