Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Stoma care - making your own dressing

I have been meaning to post about this for a very long time.
Some tube-feeders are able to not use dressings on their stoma, but I have noticed for myself that I need to keep my stoma as dry as possible in order to keep my stoma happy. I tried myself through all available dressings, but couldn't find a single one to really suit my needs. I really like those dressings that have a hole in the middle instead of a y-slit, because this hole fits very well around the button. But the only "hole-dressing" available in Austria gave me very bad contact allergies.

I also don't like the fact that most dressings only come in large sizes, when really, all I need is a tiny bit around my tube to soak up excess moisture.

Early January I visited an enterostomy care nurse and when I told her about my dressing troubles she showed me how I could make my own dressing using a simple 2x2 dressing. I personally don't like gauze dressings at all, as they tend to fray, I therefore recommend using non-woven dressings made from viscose and polyester.

This is what you do (click on the pics for a larger view):
Take a 2x2 dressing...

 Fold this dressing in half two times!

Then take the folded up dressing and cut off a small corner from the "closed" edge. This will make the hole to fit around your tube.
You might want to start with a very small corner, unfold the dressing to check the size of the hole, fold it back up and cut off more.

Then unfold the dressing and cut a slit towards the hole.

 And this is your finished dressing. Obviously you can cut it down to make it even smaller, if you like to.

What do you do next?
Take the dressing with the slit facing upwards, and slide it around your tube/button.
Then use a tiny piece of tape to tape the slit closed. This way the dressing will not slide off you with movement, but you will also have no tape directly on your skin - very good for sensitive skin!

 The blue arrow shows where I put the piece of tape.

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