If you have a stoma then you should also have a stoma-leak emergency kit. I call mine, a ‘go bag’.
Most often when a leak happens, you’ll have a warning like a sharp itching under the base plate, but that isn’t always the case... annoyingly. Whether you’ve had your stoma 1 week or 10 years, if it springs a leak you’ll need a go bag!
I have a few go bags dotted around the place and the size of them depends on where they are.
This is what I have prepared:
- Enough supplies for 1 bag change in every handbag and work bag
- A full change of clothes and a bag change in my car, and in my boyfriend, 00Steve’s, car
- A full change of clothes and a few bag changes at my parents (they don’t mind washing my clothes if I have a leak)
I keep less in my handbag because I’m short on space and more often than not I’m able to jump into a shop and buy a new outfit (any excuse, 00Steve would joke). I wear a uniform at work and usually have my Vanilla Blush knickers on which can help contain a leak, so I don’t need a change of clothes when at work either. As long as the knickers keep my leak contained I can get to the staff room and change my bag whilst keeping the output off my uniform.
If your stoma is new it can be unpredictable and you may feel like taking more with you just in case.
When it comes to your go bag everyone is different. Particularly for newbies; it’s wise to prepare as many supplies as you feel comfortable with. Don’t feel bad about over-preparing because almost everyone has been there, soon enough you’ll learn your stoma patterns and your confidence will grow. Your go bag will be unique to you but I suggest deciding which items you class as essential and which items you won’t really need in an emergency.
My essential items are:
- My stoma bag – kind of obvious right? But this goes in first so you don’t forget the most important item! If your stoma has settled in size, you can save time (and space) by pre-cutting your stoma bag, or ask your delivery company about a cutting service.
- Dry wipes – you can tear these up and wet them so they’re a 2 in 1.
- Adhesive remover wipes – often I can just peel my bag off with little damage to my skin but there are times I have stubborn adhesive.
- Barrier wipes – these help protect my skin as I have patches of eczema underneath the base plate.
- Barrier wedges – I need to fill in little dips and find rings too bulky.
- Gelling agent –I can struggle with high output so I just pop one or two in my kit.
- Flange extenders – in hot weather I sometimes struggle with peeling or lifting due to the adhesive being warm so the extenders give me a bit of confidence when I need them.
Your go bag may look completely different and may even change over time… mine definitely has!
My number one tip is to check on your items periodically, especially in warmer weather as it can affect the adhesive and you don’t want any extra surprises!
Want to create your own version of Stephie’s go bag? SecuriCare recommends the following items from our sister company, CliniMed:
- Appeel Medical Adhesive remover wipes
- LBF Barrier wipes
- Morform gelling agent
- UltraFrame flange extenders