A Night drainage bag is a must for urostomates. They allow the night to pass unhindered by the frequent excursions to the loo that were a critical symptom of previous bladder issues. Whilst the bags have a real positive benefit they present a problem; how to clean them.
The average night bag should last for around seven days. But to avoid any risk of infection it is essential that they are cleaned daily. No easy task unless you take a look at the following.
My experience is with the Hollister night bag and the two piece Hollister pouch. I have found the following technique makes cleaning extremely efficient and easy;-
After draining the night bag the difficulty is how the get any cleaning fluid/disinfectant into the bag. I use a spare pouch from the two piece Hollister system. This provides a generous opening at the top and the connection clip/drain valve at the bottom. The pouches are a little more involved than they appear. To prevent any fluid from sloshing around they have a separate cavities welded into the structure. To improve the flow when using the following technique it is best to separate the two sections of the pouch. To do this you need to put your fingers in the pouch then stretch them apart. You will feel the welds give way so the pouch has just the one cavity.
Next pour a little disinfectant into the pouch. I use Dettol as it does not product foam when you add water. I use an old shampoo bottle filled with undiluted Dettol. Four squirts are enough.
I Add disinfectant to the stoma bag
Add enough water to half fill the pouch and lie the filled pouch with the entry uppermost on the side of the sink so no fluid drains out fill the stoma bag half way with water
Drain the urine from the night bag into the loo. place the stand on the floor and then dip the end of the connection tube into the disinfectant in the pouch. This ensures that outer surface of the end of the delivery tube is cleaned.
Next, with the pouch still lying upright in the sink fit the connector of the tube to the pouch. Open the pouch drain valve and lift the pouch and Dettol out of the sink to allow the fluid to drain into the night bag. This is quite quick as the tube develops a syphon action.
Close the pouch valve and disconnect the night bag tube. Place the pouch aside for the next day use. I use the pouch for about two months before replacing it.
Hold the tube from moving around and shake the Dettol in the night bag to wash the whole of the night bag. Drain the fluid into the loo.
Now here’s a tip to ensure you don’t get an air lock that night:- with the night bag valve still open crumple up the bag on the stand to squeeze out any air. Then close the bag drain valve before pulling the bag out flat on the stand. You will find it lies nice and flat against the stand and ready for use that night.
Wrap the delivery tube once around the stand and poke in through one of the holes in the stand to secure the tube. Place the stand aside.
The whole process only takes a minute and you can be sure the inside of the bag is disinfected before its next use. Do remember to still change the night bag every seven days.
Alistair Owens had a urostomy in 2007. His irrelevant views are well intentioned but he admits he has a different slant on life from most intelligent people. You can read examples of his other rambling views on life on his blog at www.appen.co.uk
Published: 2nd September 2016