Is your ostomy bag leaking? The Equalizer is a simple tool to help improve the bond between the ostomy wafer and the patients skin. Use the Equalizer for about 10 - 20 seconds when you freshly change the ostomy skin barrier and ostomy bag. The Equalizer allows you to apply an even and equal amount of pressure in a shape of a ring all the same time.
- Pearl R. Harmany, BSN, RN, CWOCN.
Ostomy Leak Prevention - Ostomy Bag Leaking
Prevent Ostomy Leaks with Stomaplex Equalizer
I was excited to learn that Stomaplex is a new company with innovative products. In addition to the Stoma-Guards, the Stomaplex Equalizer is another one of their designs. The Equalizer helps to secure the application of the flange/barrier to the skin. Utilize it to apply equal pressure around the stoma-skin junction, seating the flange/barrier. This will help to prevent leakage at that critical intersection. The Equalizer is available in a variety of sizes and they are soft and flexible, allowing for contouring around even oval or irregular stomas, and they are completely washable and reusable.
Stomaplex offers two tools to help with both ostomy leakage prevention and ostomy protection.
To ensure complete ostomy leakage prevention, you need a good bond between the wafer of your ostomy appliance and your skin. Just like any time you are trying to adhere one thing to another, you will want to follow these steps.
1) Surface Prep. (Skin):
Make sure your skin is clean and dry. I do not recommend using a moisturizer-based soap but instead a pure soap like Ivory. If you have belly hair, I would advise that you shave it off, but be careful not to nick the stoma.
2) Surface prep. (Ostomy Appliance):
I recommend that you warm the surface of the wafer before applying it to your skin. You can do this by having someone in your family place it next to their body (like under their armpit) or you can do what I do: set it on top of a lamp with a metal plate above it so the heat of the lamp travels into the wafer. This will soften the adhesive of the wafer and make it more sticky so it will have maximum adhesion. When you remove the paper backing, be sure not to touch the adhesive with your fingers.
3) Pressure on Ostomy Appliance:
After you apply the ostomy wafer, apply pressure to the outer ring around the stoma. Pressure is the key factor whenever you talk about adhesion. When I was in the hospital being trained on this, my Wound Ostomy Nurse recommended that I use my finger and go around the stoma applying pressure to the wafer to make a good bond. However, my fingers are too big, and the blunt, round end of my finger didn't make much positive contact with the wafer. In addition, the contact was only at one point at any given time. This is where the stomaplex Equalizer comes in to play.
With the equalizer you can apply pressure all the way around the stoma equally and at the same moment in time. By doing this, you will get better adhesion, guaranteed.
"I was out looking for some ostomy accessories and Bob sent me a Stomaplex Equalizer and once I started using it regularly, I realized I cannot ever go without one. I actually now have 2 just in case I forget to pack one if I go somewhere. By not only pressing hard for 10 seconds after you apply the wafer, but also bending the Stomaplex Equalizer and using the sides to press down on every single corner of your wafer around the stoma (no matter how your stoma is shaped), the wear time of the wafer easily goes up and ostomy leaks are prevented. I think it doubles my wear time without question. Trying to use my fingers to press the wafer down, etc just doesn't allow the same sort of equal pressure. Nor does it allow you to do the extra "pressing" from all sides. By using both methods I described, the wear time of the wafer gets DAYS added on. I think it is a must have for anyone with an ostomy." Anahita (Maryland)