Women in public holding her face in her hands with embarrassment

What to do if your stoma bag leaks in public?

Leakages are scary and embarrassing - leakages in public are a stoma wearers worst nightmare. Leaks happen, but the good news is that it doesn’t have to be a big deal.

There are ways to deal with stoma leakages to help prevent them and to make it easier if it does happen.

Here are our tips for dealing with stoma bag leakages!

1. Preparation

By preparing for the worst case scenario, it will mean you are able to handle the situation better.

You may want to keep a small bag of your supplies with you, just in case you need to change your stoma bag when you are out and about.

What to have in your bag:

★ Spare stoma bag
★ Accessories (niltac, barrier cream, wipes)
★ Water bottle
★ Dry wipes
★ Disposable bags
★ Spare clothing

Top Tip!

  • Pre-cutting your base plates will save you a lot of time, especially if you are in a rush, panicking or upset.

2. Stay calm!

  • Find a public toilet or an establishment like a pub, cafe or restaurant which has toilets.

Top Tips for dealing with small cubicles:

  • Space can be an issue in a toilet cubicle and you may need to think about how to use the space creatively - can you use the toilet cistern as a shelf or even the toilet roll dispenser to balance your supplies?
  • Disabled toilets are good as they usually have more room, a sink and places to put your supplies when getting ready to change
  • Baby change rooms are also great as like the disabled toilet they also have the additional space

3. Take your time

  • Having a leak is horrible and you will want the whole experience to be over quickly, but try not to rush.
  • Take time to apply your new bag correctly and avoid another leak.

4. Seek advice

  • If you are getting repetitive leaks, then it could be a good idea to review your appliance, any accessories you use and your application technique with your stoma nurse.

Common causes for leakage:

  • Stoma has changed size or shape since you last measured.
  • Misalignment when applying appliance - so may not fit properly
  • The skin has become irritated so adhesion has become poor
  • The output is aggressive and therefore breaks down the adhesive sooner than expected.
  • Not using a barrier spray or a barrier pad
  • Gelling products can help ‘solidify’ output and therefore help avoid leakage and make it easier to empty.
  • Empty your stoma bag regularly

If you would like to talk privately and confidentially why not speak to our team of experts lifestyle advisors? Call 0800 467 866 we are here to help.

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