“TRICKS OF THE TRADE”
 

Once again, we send a sincere “thank you” to Phil Jeffries, an embalmer from Pennsylvania, for this month’s excellent tip, which we include essentially as Phil sent it to us.  (For more information on Phil's interesting embalming background, see the tip "Getting Sufficient Fluid to the Hands."  Phil, your contributions are gratefully received and always appreciated!

 

DEALING WITH AN OSTOMY BAG
 
 
The usual method of dealing with an ostomy bag is to remove the bag and stitch the ostomy closed. Often this is a difficult closure, and we then have to red bag the ostomy bag and parts.
 
Whenever I note that the seal is still tight and undisturbed, I drain and clean out bag (rinse with water from hose) without removing it. Then I put in either a few tablespoons of embalming powder or some cavity on cotton to treat the stoma and reseal with original clip.  Later, I aspirate as usual, working tip of trocar just close to stoma from inside (underneath), but not disturbing seal. These devices were designed to seal tight and stay in place on live, active people. If you've removed one, you know how well most are attached. I think the seal is as good as or better than stitching you get after removal of one. If there is any new discharge before dressing, just repeat the procedure -- still better than sewing.   Bags usually fit flat against body, and aren't noticed under clothing.
 
This has been a timesaver compared to a suture, which often needs to be covered with sealer and dressing anyway.

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