Tips for preventing urinary tract infections when caring for a person with a urostomy
The most important thing to consider when caring for someone with a urostomy is the risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs).
If you notice any of these symptoms for the person your caring for, contact their healthcare professional, stoma care nurse or GP:
- Dark, cloudy urine
- Blood in urine
- Strong-smelling urine
- Back pain (where your kidneys are located)
- Loss of appetite
Preventing urinary tract infections when caring for a person with a urostomy
The good news is that a few diet changes and ostomy pouch routines can help avoid this issue for the ostomate.
- Drinking plenty of water-it is important to stay hydrated.
- Drinking at least two glasses of cranberry juice a day (unless contraindicated) eg if you are taking warfarin
- Eating foods that are high in Vitamin C – this makes urine acidic and helps prevent infections.
- Avoid consuming large amounts of caffeine and alcohol. These can dehydrate you and make you more susceptible to UTIs.
- If they use a night drainage system, make sure to thoroughly clean the leg bag or container.
- Regularly empty their urostomy pouch
Obtaining a urine sample
It is important that you remove the pouch and clean the stoma and peristomal skin well. Then place the clean receptacle below the stoma (ensuring you don’t touch the stoma) and collect a small amount of urine as it comes out of the stoma. Never take a sample from a used pouch. It is also important to note on the sample bottle that it has been taken from a urostomy.
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