Why You Should Know What an Ostomy is


Ostomy Awareness Day is celebrated annually on the first Saturday of every October around the world. If you don’t know what an ostomy is, you are the perfect target for this message.

An ostomy is an opening through the abdomen from inside the body to the outside to collect urine or stool. The bag used to collect the urine or stool is called an ostomy pouch.

An ostomy is created through a surgical procedure when the urinary or digestive tract malfunctions. Malfunctions typically occur due to birth defects, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease or severe abdominal or pelvic trauma caused through injuries. It’s estimated about 100,000 Americans have a life-saving ostomy surgery every year and up to 1,000,000 are living with one right now.

An ostomy does not lower life-expectancy, but it does create a “new normal.” People of all ages have life-saving ostomy surgery for a wide variety of reasons and most go on to live active and healthy lives. You have very likely already met someone with an ostomy but never knew it.

Palomar Health CWOCNs (Certified Wound Ostomy Continence Nurses) are proud to support World Ostomy Day to stand with the entire ostomy community in celebration. This year’s motto, as designated by the European Ostomy Association, is “Ostomates’ Rights are Human Rights – anytime and anywhere!” We will carry on breaking the silence and shining a positive light on what has saved so many lives.

You can be part of the Palomar Health Center Wound Team’s efforts to build awareness that ostomies are lifesavers and improve ostomates’ quality of care. The wound team encourages you to “Share your #PMCOstomyawareness” and personalize your Instagram or Facebook Stories. Search for them in the Palomar Medical Center library when creating an Instagram or Facebook Story and you’ll find your colleagues’ collection.

Click here to learn more about ostomy.


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