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An overview of stoma-related complications and their management

02 August 2021
Volume 26 · Issue 8
Figure 2. One-piece drainable ileostomy appliances
Figure 2. One-piece drainable ileostomy appliances

There are almost 200 000 people in the UK with a stoma (University of Birmingham, 2019). This equates to about one person in every 335. Most people with a stoma are taught in the hospital setting to undertake the care of their stoma and become independent with the care. However, some people are unable to be independent with their stoma care needs for a number of reasons, such as dementia or a fractured arm. Having a stoma can thus be difficult for some people, and this is made even more difficult if a stoma complication occurs. Complications can relate to the stoma itself, for example, it may retract. Alternatively, the complication can be related to the peristomal skin, for example, skin erosion. Community nurses are ideally placed to assist patients with their stoma care, although they will infrequently need to be involved in-depth with stoma care. Nonetheless, the community nurse needs to have a working knowledge of many aspects of healthcare, and a reminder about stomas and complications and how to manage these can be beneficial. If complications occur, however, a basic understanding of causes can often help with assessment and treatment planning.

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