Cleaning out a Colostomy Bag

  1. 0
    I've been a CNA for 2 years now, but I've never had to clean out a colostomy bag. Tomorrow I'm doing home care where the patient has both a colostomy and urinary drainage bag. Can anybody give some hints and tips for emptying the colosomy as clean and easily as possible? Thanks!
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  3. 4 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Get a dry washcloth.

    Place it under the ostomy bag outlet.

    Place your graduated cylinder (or whatever) under the ostomy bag outlet. Open up the ostomy bag (via clamp or valve or velcro-type fastener), and "milk" the contents into the graduated cylinder (while holding your breath). Once the bag is emptied, set the graduated cylinder full of ostomy-goodness on a nearby table (or the floor, if all else fails). Using the washcloth, wipe the ostomy bag outlet, then seal it closed.

    Empty the graduated cylinder into your nearest toilet (after measuring output, of course!). Clean the container, set it aside. Stash the washcloth in the nearest linen cart.

    All done.....good luck!
  5. 0
    Stoma Care - Registered Nurse Training - YouTube I'm a visual learner lol. Just in case you're expected to provide stoma care..good luck!
    Last edit by KimberlyRN89 on Jun 3, '12 : Reason: forgot something
  6. 1
    Quote from CrufflerJJ
    Get a dry washcloth.

    Place it under the ostomy bag outlet.

    Place your graduated cylinder (or whatever) under the ostomy bag outlet. Open up the ostomy bag (via clamp or valve or velcro-type fastener), and "milk" the contents into the graduated cylinder (while holding your breath). Once the bag is emptied, set the graduated cylinder full of ostomy-goodness on a nearby table (or the floor, if all else fails). Using the washcloth, wipe the ostomy bag outlet, then seal it closed.

    Empty the graduated cylinder into your nearest toilet (after measuring output, of course!). Clean the container, set it aside. Stash the washcloth in the nearest linen cart.

    All done.....good luck!
    Thanks! These are great step by step instructions! I wish I had a linen cart. This in in somebody's home and I get to clean the linens! WHOOP!
    Esme12 likes this.
  7. 0
    If the person can sit on the toilet and open their legs, that's the best way. You can just dump the contents directly into the toilet and flush immediately. Since you're in home care, you might not have one of those peri bottles handy, but those are good for spraying out the inside of the bag.

    If it's an ileostomy, the stool will be loose and watery and the bag will have to be emptied more often, and they smell worse. Colostomies usually have more formed stool in them, for obvious reasons.


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