Nursing Services

Under the guidance of a physician, used to assess, monitor, and treat a health condition to prevent re-hospitalization.

Which Illnesses Can Infusion Therapy Help Treat?

Patients who are very sick may not be able to eat, let alone take medicine by mouth. Infusion therapy can solve this problem by giving treatment directly through a needle or catheter. Infusion therapy only used to be done in hospitals, but now it can be done at outpatient infusion therapy clinics or even in your own home by trained nurses. 

At Quality Life Services Home Health, we provide infusion therapy in the comfort of your home. We know that you may have questions about infusion therapy, and we’d like to help! 

Continue reading to learn more about infusion therapy and what to expect from this procedure. 

What is Infusion Therapy & Why is it used?

Infusion therapy is an alternative to oral treatment that involves administering medicine via a sterile needle or catheter (usually intravenously).

Other types of infusion therapy include:

  • Epidural
  • Intramuscular
  • Subcutaneous

Infusion therapy is also used when drugs can’t be taken by mouth because they lose effectiveness through the digestive system. Infusion therapy can be used if there isn’t a similar oral treatment or if you can’t take pills by mouth. 

Infusion therapy can also be used to give nutrients and a variety of medications, such as:

  • Antibiotics
  • Antiemetics
  • Antifungals
  • Antivirals
  • Biologics
  • Blood factors
  • Chemotherapy
  • Corticosteroids
  • Growth hormones
  • Immunoglobulin replacement
  • Immunotherapy
  • Inotropic heart medications

Infusion treatment is also utilized often since it permits regulated dosage. Some forms of chemotherapy, for example, must be gently dripped into the bloodstream. Other drugs, in life-or-death situations, must reach the bloodstream quickly, such as:

  • Anaphylactic shock
  • Heart attack 
  • Stroke 
  • Poisoning

What Conditions Can Infusion Therapy Be Used To Treat?

Chemotherapy is commonly used to treat many different types of cancer. While certain chemotherapies may be taken orally, many must be delivered through an IV. Chemotherapy medications are sometimes injected into the spine or another body part.

Chemotherapy drugs are delivered straight into your circulation via infusion therapy. It also allows you to get anti-nausea and other medications without needing further needles.

However, infusion treatment isn’t just for cancer patients. It’s also used to treat:

  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Immune deficits
  • Dehydration
  • Infections that aren’t responsive to oral drugs

It can deliver powerful medications for conditions such as:

  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Lupus
  • Psoriasis
  • Arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis

What Can You Expect From Infusion Therapy?

IV treatments are often given in hospitals, clinics, outpatient facilities, or infusion centers. Some forms of infusion treatment can be administered at home by healthcare professionals.

Each IV session requires a fresh needle stick. If you need more than one IV treatment, your doctor may suggest something other than a standard IV line. Central lines can be put into your chest, arm, neck, or groin and remain in place for a lengthy period.

Another option is to surgically insert a port beneath the skin. In the future, the needle can be placed into the port to reach the vein without sticking you. After you have finished all your treatments, the port will be surgically removed.

Nurses or other trained medical personnel give IV treatment in any situation. If the procedure is likely to take more than a few minutes, there is normally some control mechanism linked to the line to ensure correct distribution. Infusion treatment is always accompanied by regular or remote monitoring.

Are There Any Risks Involved With Infusion Therapy?

The insertion of an IV needle is usually painless (although it might be difficult), especially if you have small veins.

If you require frequent infusions, scar tissue may build over time, causing damage to your veins. 

IV treatment has the following risks:

  • Collapsed veins
  • Infection
  • Phlebitis
  • Air embolism

A needle can sometimes become dislodged, allowing medicine to enter nearby tissues. This can be harmful with some drugs.

Other dangers are dependent on the medications you’re taking. Any new drug might create a powerful reaction in your body. If you are going to have a response, it is usually the first time you receive a certain therapy.

Your doctor will go through your therapy’s possible hazards and warning signs. 

The signs of Infusion reaction typically include:

  • Cough
  • Flushing of the face
  • Fever and chills
  • Headache
  • Itching
  • Pain and stiffness in the joints and muscles
  • Nausea
  • Hives or a rash
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Hand, leg, ankle, or foot swelling
  • Enlargement of the tongue, lips, or eyelids
It’s critical that you inform your doctor about all drugs you’re taking, as well as nutritional and herbal supplements, before starting infusion therapy.

Infusion Therapy in Cincinnati, Ohio

Quality Life Services Home Health (QLS) helps people who need home health care with special services like Infusion Therapy. We hire private nurses who are qualified, caring, and have special training in giving infusion drugs and keeping lines in good shape. If you’d like to obtain more information on our home health services, schedule an appointment or contact us at (513) 860-1481.

What Are the Benefits & How Long Do IV fluids Stay in Your System?

The fastest way to restore fluid and electrolyte balance is by intravenous (IV) drip infusions. People may receive IV therapy for pain relief or to improve their health by replenishing the body with fluids, minerals, and vitamins.

At Quality Life Services Home Health, we offer intravenous (IV) therapy for home health patients. This article will discuss why IV therapy is beneficial, how long these IV fluids stay in your system, and what you can do if infiltration occurs.

What Is IV Therapy?


IV therapy is a means of administering fluids and medication. The term “IV” stands for intravenous, meaning the fluid is delivered through the veins. The fluid containing vitamins, minerals, or drugs is administered into the vein through an IV drip or injection, allowing the therapy to flow swiftly through your system. 

Medication is usually delivered faster through an IV than via oral delivery. A healthcare professional, generally a nurse, administers IV therapy for various reasons, from dehydration to medical emergencies. The flu, morning sickness, and hangovers are among the conditions that may benefit from IV therapy.

How Does IV Therapy Work?


The administration of IV treatment is a straightforward process. The approach is consistent regardless of the sort of IV treatment you receive. The nurse will sterilize the injection site before inserting a needle into a vein. 

The IV is typically inserted in the arm but can be placed elsewhere. The arm is a popular insertion point since it is easily accessible. Furthermore, the arm is a low-risk entry route compared to others, such as the neck or thigh, and its proximity to the heart allows drugs to arrive faster.

After inserting the IV, a manual or electronic pump will administer the fluid into an IV bag. The nurse will assess the pump to ensure the correct delivery rate. The fluid drips from the bag into your bloodstream via the catheter. Avoid disturbing or dislodging the catheter.

IV Therapy Benefits


IV treatment can be beneficial for a variety of reasons. Two of the most significant benefits for anyone considering IV treatment are:

Convenience and ease:

If you’re sick, you generally don’t want to go to the hospital or your doctor’s office until it’s critical. IV treatment is a simple and convenient choice for many common ailments—you don’t even have to leave your house. The IV insertion is relatively painless, and you should experience little discomfort after it is inserted. While you watch TV, read, or work on your device, the IV drip will do its thing.

Health and well-being: 

IV treatment is commonly used to enhance health and wellness. Fluid, vitamin, and mineral infusions can help maintain a healthy immune system, promote healthy skin, and keep you hydrated. The optimal balance of minerals and vitamins in the body can also assist in boosting energy levels.

How Long Do IV Fluids Stay in Your System?


IV fluids often remain in the body for a few hours after absorption. However, the nutrients, minerals, and medication in the fluids may stay in your body for days, weeks, or even months. This is very dependent on your body’s requirements and the sort of IV infusion you receive. Several key aspects and biological processes influence the length of time IV fluid remains in your body. 

They are as follows:

  • Hydration level

Your baseline hydration level determines the length of time your body retains fluid from an IV infusion. When you are well hydrated, your body excretes the extra IV fluids it does not require more rapidly. If you are dehydrated and have an IV fluid infusion, your body will retain most of the IV fluid.

  • Illness

The length of time IV fluid stays in your body is affected by biological processes and illnesses. Dehydration occurs when a large amount of water is lost in a short period due to conditions such as renal failure, diarrhea, vomiting, and excessive perspiration. You may also get dehydrated if you take diuretic drugs.

When you are dehydrated and receive an IV fluid infusion, your body will retain most of the IV fluid since it only passes what it doesn’t require. The positive benefits of the fluid’s electrolytes and minerals last long after your body excretes it.

  • Metabolic rate

Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) is simply the number of calories you burn while performing your body’s essential life-sustaining processes. The BMR of most Americans falls between 1400 and 2000. This indicates that they only need to consume 1400 to 2000 calories daily to sustain their body’s basic functions when at rest.

Your BMR  influences how quickly your body absorbs nutrients from fluids. It also affects how quickly extra fluids flow through your system. People with a high metabolic rate take nutrients from IV fluids more quickly. They also expel them more rapidly than people with low metabolic rates.

You may excrete IV fluids more slowly if you have a low metabolic rate due to old age or weight gain.

What Happens After IV Fluids Are Removed From Your Body?


IV treatment slowly supplies water, amino acids, minerals, vitamins, or other medications. The treatment typically only takes 45 minutes to an hour. However, the procedure may be quicker or longer, depending on the reason why you received IV treatment.

The effects typically take effect quickly but may take longer if you are dehydrated. The effects of the injection might last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Even after the IV fluids have left your body, the electrolytes and minerals in the fluid continue to benefit you.

Is it Possible to Retain Too Much Water After an IV Treatment?


Your body usually excretes extra fluids once it has taken what it requires. Too much IV fluid in your system might cause hypervolemia, especially if you have other underlying disorders. 

It should be noted, however, that hypervolemia can only occur during the infusion procedure. Following that, all extra fluids exit your body via natural metabolic processes.

How Long Does it Generally Take For Swelling to Subside?


Swelling happens when IV fluid escapes into the surrounding soft tissue from the vein (called infiltration). Inflammation, soreness around the IV site, and skin tightness are frequent symptoms of IV fluid leaking. The swelling should decrease within a couple of days if the site is not infected.

If you swell after receiving an IV fluid infusion, you can alleviate the swelling by:

  • Elevating the IV site to the greatest possible extent. This helps the fluid disperse faster, minimizing swelling.
  • Apply a cold or warm compress for 30 minutes every two to three hours following the infusion.
  • If the IV fluid is vesicant (irritates the tissues), your doctor may advise you to take the medication within 24 hours after the infusion.

Is There a Difference Between Drinking Fluids and IV fluids?


IV fluids are retained and passed through your body differently from fluids obtained by ingesting. An IV drip infusion accomplishes the following tasks:

  • It delivers water, critical nutrients, and medication straight to your circulation, allowing them to reach your organs and body cells easily.
  • IV drip infusions, unlike drinking, do not push water through your digestive tract. This means you keep the nutrients and electrolytes that would otherwise be lost during digestion.

IV drip treatment can help with pain management, immune system support, and gut health enhancement. Although IV fluids are only in your body for a few hours, the effects continue long after the fluids are removed. They also provide a more efficient method of rehydrating.

IV Therapy in Cincinnati, Ohio


Quality Life Services Home Health (QLS) provides home health patients with specialized services such as intravenous (IV) therapy. We use highly skilled and caring private nurses who have received extensive training in infusion drug administration and line maintenance.

If you or a loved one requires home health care, you can reach us at (513) 860-1481. You may also request additional information by filling out this online form.

9 Important Tips to Prevent Leaks

Leaking ostomy bags can be a nightmare for anyone with a colostomy, urostomy, or ileostomy. A leaky ostomy pouch means you’ll have to repeatedly change the bag and wash clothing or bedding, whether at night or during the day. There’s nothing worse than having to quickly dash somewhere to find somewhere to hide if your patient’s ostomy bag leaks in public. 

At Quality Life Services Home Health, we offer ostomy care as well as pre-and post-operative care. In this article, we’ll cover what you can do to ensure that you can prevent your patient’s ostomy bag from leaking.

What is a Colostomy?

In a colostomy, the colon is redirected from its normal route to a new opening in the abdominal wall. The opening is known as a stoma. Feces will now be expelled through the stoma rather than the anus from the colon, where it forms. A colostomy bag may be required to collect the fecal matter when it comes out. Some individuals require a colostomy for a few months, while others need it for the rest of their lives.

A colostomy frequently follows a colectomy, which is an operation that removes part or all of the colon. After the procedure, the term “colostomy” also refers to the newly rerouted colon. 

Why Would Someone Require a Colostomy?

A colostomy may be required if there is a medical condition stopping the person from properly using their anus or colon. It might be a short-term intervention to allow the body to recuperate, or it could be a long-term remedy to an irreparable illness.

The following conditions may necessitate a temporary colostomy:

  • A severe infection, such as diverticulitis
  • Acute inflammatory bowel illness inflammation (IBD)
  • Anal fistula 
  • An obstruction in the colon or anus.
  • Acute injury to the colon
  • Partial colectomies 

The following conditions may require a permanent colostomy:

  • Incurable fecal incontinence
  • Advanced colorectal cancer
  • Permanent rectum and/or anus removal

What Causes an Ostomy Bag to Leak?

This is one of the most often asked questions by ostomy patients. After all, nobody wants to constantly worry about unforeseen disasters.

But what causes ostomy bag leaks? As it turns out, many potential contributing factors influence the seal of an ostomy device.

Here are a few recommendations that address these factors and provide practical remedies for stoma bag leakage.

Ostomy Bag Leakage Prevention Tips

A leaky ostomy bag is never pleasant. Avoid leaks with the following recommendations:

  • Select the Right Ostomy Skin Barrier

First, ensure that the appropriate ostomy supplies are used for the specific body and stoma. The proper size and kind of skin barrier (a wafer) will cling tightly and protect the skin from irritation and leaking. This is significant because you’ll want stoma output to go into the ostomy pouch rather than below or around the skin barrier.

Furthermore, if the stoma is flush or recessed below the skin level, you could consider switching from a typical flat skin barrier to a convex one.

Convex skin barriers are helpful for people who suffer from:

  • Rounded abdomens
  • Hernias
  • Creases and folds in the skin
  • Flush or recessed stomas
  • Measure the Stoma to Determine the Appropriate Size For the Skin Barrier

Obtaining the appropriate size may determine how well the ostomy equipment fits. A skin barrier that does not fit snugly enough may allow stoma output to flow beneath or around it, resulting in leakage.

Here’s something you may not know: Even though you’ve been using the same size skin barrier for a while, it may no longer be the best fit today as it was months ago. This is because stoma shapes and sizes can change gradually over time, with the most notable changes occurring during the months and weeks following ostomy surgery.

  • Maintain the Health of the Peristomal Skin

If the skin around the stoma is weepy, raw, or itchy, it is a sign that something is wrong. Not only can skin conditions make it more challenging to keep the ostomy equipment secure and correctly sealed, but they can also create further problems if untreated.

First, discuss any skin concerns with a doctor or an ostomy nurse. They are trained to provide medical advice and may be able to identify the source of any problems, such as an allergic reaction, an ill-fitting ostomy pouch system, irritation caused by leakage, or too frequent skin barrier changes.

  • Apply the Ostomy Skin Barrier to Shaved, Clean Skin

Use a skin barrier to clean skin to ensure that the ostomy pouch remains tight and leak-free. Also, before applying the pouching system, ensure the peristomal skin is dry. In other words, dry the skin with a clean towel whether the patient has been sweating, swimming, or taking a bath or shower.

Avoid using greasy or alcohol-based lotions, soaps, or hair removal creams near the stoma. Make sure that you only use skincare products that are ostomy-safe.

If body hair surrounds the stoma, use a clean safety razor to carefully shave the area before placing the ostomy pouching system. Because hair regrowth might interfere with achieving a secure seal, you may need to shave it every few days.

  • For Added Protection, Consider an Ostomy Belt

Consider an ostomy belt if your patient’s ostomy bag leaks the most during physical activity or movement.

Ostomy belts connect to the bag and wrap around the waist to provide a comfortable and secure fit while compensating for the weight of the ostomy bag. This is especially useful for physical activities like yoga, running, walking, or weight lifting. If the patient is relatively active, an ostomy belt may provide the extra protection required to limit the chance of stoma leaks.

  • Make Sure You Help the Patient Empty or Replace the Bag Regularly

As an ostomy bag fills up, it weighs down and presses on the seal surrounding the stoma. This is really one of the leading causes of ostomy leaks. Taking toilet breaks throughout the day is critical to empty or replacing the bag. This reduces the possibility of leakage or blowout owing to an overfilled ostomy pouch.

A decent rule of thumb is to empty the bag when it’s around 1/3 full. By midway, the bag will most likely be heavier and impose additional strain on the ostomy seal. Above all, avoid the danger zone, which occurs when the bag becomes so full that output accumulates around the stoma itself. This greatly increases the possibility of leakage. Furthermore, if it is left ignored or occurs frequently, it can irritate a stoma or potentially cause infection.

Also, if your patient has leaks mostly at night, be sure to empty the pouch before going to bed. You might also take extra precautions, like arranging cushions around you to keep them from turning over onto the bag while sleeping. Wearing a tight shirt or ostomy wrap, on the other hand, will keep a bag snug against their body.

  • Use a Bag With a Filter or Limit Gas-Producing Foods to Prevent Ileostomy and Colostomy Bag Blowouts

One of the most dreaded concerns many ostomates confront is ileostomy and colostomy bag blowouts. This is because gasses from fecal excretion may quickly accumulate and fill a pouch. The weakest area of the bag will be the first to blow open, which is commonly the drain exit towards the bottom of the stoma bag or the barrier and pouch connection.

Let’s start with the sort of pouch that’s being utilized. You should start using a bag with an enhanced charcoal filter, which allows the bag to “burp” throughout the day, lowering the danger of pouch inflation or subsequent blowouts. Because these pouches were built with input from ostomy nurses and ostomates, they have additional security measures, such as an audible click sound when you clip the bag to a barrier.

Also, limiting the patient’s intake of gas-producing foods like broccoli, beans, dairy products, onions, carbonated beverages, sugars, and artificial sweeteners can lessen gas production.

  • Check to See Whether the Ostomy Products Are Expired or Damaged

When ostomy goods are used past their expiration date, their adhesive characteristics, fit, and effectiveness might change. The easiest method to avoid this is to always check the expiration date on the packaging of the ostomy supplies before using them.

Ensure ostomy supplies are stored out of the sun and are never left in the car. You don’t want ostomy supplies to get too hot or too cold. Store them inside and follow any storage recommendations on the box of the ostomy products.

  • Minimize Pancaking in the Colostomy Bag

When thicker ostomy output does not settle to the pouch’s bottom, this is called pancaking. Instead, it may gather towards the top of the bag or around the stoma. This can result in leaks for those who wear colostomy bags or have thick output from an ileostomy.

It can be an irritating issue. However, we can quickly resolve this problem! To begin, cover the interior of a bag with a pouch lubricant such as lubricating deodorant or lubricating drops. This allows stool to sink to the bottom of a bag. If you use an ostomy pouch lubricant, make sure to reapply it every time you empty the bag.

You may encourage the patient to implement a few simple lifestyle modifications to help soften the stool. Encourage them to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Some ostomates choose to soften their colostomy output by consuming an apple, grape, or prune juice.

Ostomy Care in Cincinnati, Ohio

If you’re someone caring for an ostomy patient, it is vital to remember that sometimes accidents happen, but it’s up to you to remain calm and reassuring. By implementing the advice provided in this article, you can help prevent leaks or embarrassing situations.

With the help of a qualified, skilled nurse from Quality Life Services Home Health, you can take it step by step. If you or a loved one requires ostomy care at home, please contact us at (513) 860-1405. 

You may also request additional information by filling out this online form.

10 ways to speed up the healing process after surgery

If surgery is on the horizon, you may be curious about how you can recover quicker. Although your desire to “get up and running”  seems necessary, the quality of your recovery is of the utmost importance.

At Quality Life Services Home Health, we provide pre-and post-surgical recovery services to seven local counties in Southwest Ohio. Providing holistic, high-quality treatment in the comfort of our patient’s homes, our local team shares a goal of consistently delivering top-notch patient care that meets our patient’s and their families expectations.

If you (or a loved one) is scheduled to have surgery, read on to learn how to expedite the healing process and recover quickly.

How to Ensure a Smooth Recovery after Surgery

You can apply specific measures after surgery to heal faster and get back to doing the activities you enjoy.

1. Follow Your Patient Discharge Instructions

After major surgery or a small elective operation, you will be given discharge instructions to go through with your surgical team. 

These instructions should include condition-specific guidance. For example, patients recuperating from heart surgery may need to monitor their respiratory health closely to avoid pneumonia and bronchitis.

When you get home, go through these guidelines again and make sure you follow them precisely.

2. Rest and allow your body to recuperate

Depending on the procedure, you may require two to three weeks or longer to recuperate after surgery. Don’t rush back into your previous activities even if you start feeling better. 

Heed the advice of your healthcare provider on how long you should rest. These recommendations are supplied to ensure that you heal correctly.

3. Eat a Healthy Diet

Food can heal your body, so focus on proper nutrition. Eat regular, small meals to maintain your strength. Consume as much fruit and vegetables as possible, along with healthy grains and lean meat. It is also vital to ensure that you are well hydrated at all times.

3. Get Some Steps in

One of the most critical things to do following surgery is walk, even if it’s just a few steps at a time. Walking can help avoid serious complications (such as blood clots), and it gets the bowels moving, which is beneficial because anesthesia can cause constipation.

While walking is recommended, you should avoid strenuous activities such as running and workouts until your healthcare team gives you the all-clear. Do not swim until your wound has fully healed.

4. Take Pain Medication as Advised

Although there’s really no such thing as an entirely painless surgical procedure, the correct drug at the right dose may reduce pain and discomfort. 

As a patient, it is crucial to adhere to any medication guidelines your healthcare provider provides. This will not only accelerate your recovery but will also help you avoid long-term health issues.

5. Attend Follow-Up Appointments

Typically, you will have your initial follow-up appointment a few days after surgery. Even if you may feel exhausted or ill, you should not skip this appointment. 

Always be honest about your symptoms and pain level. This will allow your medical team to treat the areas causing you the most discomfort and keep you as comfortable as possible. Furthermore, this is an excellent time to discuss any issues that have arisen since the day of your procedure.

7. Think About Home Care Services

Home health care helpers assist with surgically recovering patients. Ultimately, their objective is either to aid the patient in recovering and regaining independence or, if the condition is persistent, to maintain the maximum possible quality of life and assist with daily duties.

Home care support can reassure your family that you are safe and that all of your needs are being met. At QLS, skilled and knowledgeable nurses can help you transition from the hospital to your home. They can also assist with minor housework and food preparation, provide companionship, and simplify the process of navigating your home.

8. Care for Your Incision 

Many individuals go to great lengths to maintain a clean incision. 

Scabbing around surgical staples may be unattractive, but it is normal. Removing scabs may impede the healing process. Similarly, bathing an incision can be hazardous since it might weaken the incision line.

Many doctors prescribe showers instead of baths after surgery and prohibit swimming during the initial healing period. Consult your surgeon for any further concerns or questions.

9. Avoid Infection

Any wound, regardless of its size, can get infected. Modern minimally invasive surgical treatments can reduce the danger of infection, but you still need to practice basic wound care to protect your health. Your surgeon’s discharge instructions should provide all the information necessary to care for the incisions. 

If you require assistance with cleaning or treating the wound, seek assistance from a caregiver or loved one. Call your doctor immediately if you notice any of the usual indicators of infection following surgery, such as heightened pain, fever, or a large amount of discharge.

10. Quit Smoking

Smoking harms circulation and can drastically slow down the healing process, which might result in significant difficulties during recovery.

Nicotine delays recovery and raises the likelihood of problems, which can have long-lasting detrimental effects on your health and outcomes. 

Pre-and Post-Surgical Recovery Therapy Available in Southwest Ohio

Quality Life Services offers physical therapy services tailored to your specific condition and needs.

Our team can liaise with your physician to help support your recovery after surgery. We make house calls so you can get top-quality physical and occupational therapy at home. 

If you’d like to get more information on our home health services, schedule an appointment or contact us at (513) 860-1481.

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How do you care for a person with an Ostomy

Understanding the effects of ostomy surgery and supporting the patient are essential parts of the recovery process. You may already be familiar with the fundamentals of an ostomy, but do you know how to care for someone with an ostomy?

New ostomates experience a wide range of emotions. It is crucial to recognize that physical and emotional recovery following surgery may occur at varying rates, given that everyone processes emotions differently.

Often, people have various questions about ostomies or colostomies, and we would like to assist. At Quality Life Services Home Health, we offer ostomy care in addition to pre-and post-operative recuperation. Continue reading to better understand what these procedures entail and how you can help and care for a loved one with an ostomy.

What is an Ostomy?

Ostomy surgery is a life-saving procedure that permits human waste to flow through a surgically constructed stoma on the abdomen into a prosthetic pouch or ostomy bag outside the body. Numerous medical conditions, including birth abnormalities, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, diverticulitis, and incontinence, may necessitate an ostomy. 

Ostomy surgery can be performed at any age, does not reduce life expectancy, and often marks the beginning of a “new normal” life. 

What is the Purpose of an Ostomy?

An ostomy allows bodily waste to be expelled via a new opening (stoma) in the abdominal wall. An ostomy can be permanent or temporary. When someone has an ostomy, they must wear a special pouch over the stoma to collect waste.

What’s the Difference Between an Ostomy and a Colostomy?

There is no significant difference between an ostomy and a colostomy. A colostomy is a type of ostomy that enables the body to pass feces when the colon is not functioning normally or when a portion of the colon must be removed due to illness.

Five Chief Concerns When Caring for Someone With a New Ostomy

You may have questions regarding your loved one’s ostomy, how to care for their stoma, and how to help them to continue living the life they choose, but you don’t have to figure it out alone. At QLS, we offer support for people living with an ostomy.  

Below are five common ostomy concerns: 


1. Leakage beneath the pouching system

Sometimes, patients experience leakage below the pouching system. To help fix this problem, consider how the skin is prepared before putting it on the pouch. If the products are not appropriately applied, adhesion difficulties may arise. Ask the patient whether they are cleaning out the bag or placing anything in it. 

The most important thing, however, is to find out where the leak is. If it’s always in the same spot, check to see if there are any folds or uneven surfaces, like scar tissue, incisions, or your belly button, that could make the surface under the barrier uneven. If this is the case, you could try a barrier ring as a filler to make the surface area more even. 

Always ensure that the stoma size in the barrier is correct. When the barrier fits where the skin and the stoma meet, it’s a good fit. There should be no exposed skin between the stoma and the barrier’s opening.

2. Irritated, weepy skin

Irritated skin can be a struggle for many individuals with an ostomy. There should not be any skin breakdown, open sores, or a rash under the barrier. You’ll need to examine where precisely the skin is breaking down and how long it has been occurring. 

Could something have led to this irritation, such as leakage, or perhaps the barrier being removed too quickly? How is the skin prepared for the skin barrier? You could try using stoma powder to absorb moisture from broken skin surrounding the stoma, which may allow for better adhesion of the skin barrier. 

It’s vital that all aspects of this issue are considered and that the underlying causes of the skin irritation are addressed.

3. There’s an odor that others may notice

There can be an odor when the pouch is emptied and a slightly different smell when it leaks—the trick is to figure out which one it is. When emptying an ostomy bag, a lubricating deodorant is a great way to neutralize the smell of the stool. 

You may also want to consider a pouch with a filter that neutralizes gas-induced odor. Ensure that stool leakage does not reach the exterior of the closure system. If neither of these explanations is the case, the barrier may be starting to separate from the skin, allowing odor to escape; signaling the beginnings of a leak.

4. Pouching system doesn’t remain fixed or stay on

If the pouch system is not staying on, the barrier seal could be an issue. To determine how long the system should be worn, remember that each individual is unique and will have different needs. 

A general rule of thumb is to assess how many days the product can be relied upon to produce a secure seal without leaking. When switching pouching systems, observe the back of the barrier. 

If stool or urine from the stoma has leaked under the barrier, the barrier seal has been compromised and may stop sticking to the skin. Should this occur, the barrier must be changed. It is essential to regularly replace the product, which can be determined by the lack of stoma drainage under the barrier and the condition of your skin.

5. Worry about the pouching system being seen

When a pouch is filled with gas or drainage, it will expand and may become visible beneath clothing. A pouch with a filter can assist in the gas release. 

Help your loved one empty their pouch when it’s between one-third to half-full. When a pouch is filled, the additional weight on the barrier may result in leakage. Finding the right pouching system for the patient is essential when it comes to discretion. 

Ostomy Care in Cincinnati, Ohio

As someone caring for an ostomy patient, it is imperative to remember that new life adjustments take time but will eventually become more manageable.

With the assistance of a skilled and qualified nurse from Quality Life Services Home Health, you can take it step by step. If you or a loved one requires ostomy care at home, please contact us at (513) 860-1405. Alternatively, you can also request additional information by filling out this online form.

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What is the Difference Between an Ostomy and a Colostomy

Learning that you or your loved one is in need of any type of surgery may be challenging, especially if you are not familiar with the procedure. You may have heard about common surgical procedures such as cataract surgery, joint replacement or heart bypass surgery, but how knowledgeable are you about ostomy and colostomy? 

Ostomy and colostomy are not as uncommon as you may think. In fact, one in 500 Americans is an ostomy patient. Reports also show that 100,000 patients in the United States undergo colostomies every year.

If your physician has determined that you too are a candidate for these procedures then it would be helpful to learn all you can. At Quality Life Services Home Health we provide services in ostomy care as well as pre and post-surgical recovery. We know you may have questions about ostomy or colostomy and as such, we would like to help. Read on so that you can better understand what to expect from these procedures.

What Does Ostomy Mean?

Ostomy or stoma surgery is a procedure in which a surgeon creates an opening in the skin (usually the abdomen) as a way for waste products to leave the intestines. 

It is performed not only to help patients with severe medical conditions to relieve themselves but to also improve their quality of life as they manage their ailments. You or your loved one may be a candidate if you have medical conditions such as:

  • A blockage in your bowel
  • Colon or rectal cancer
  • Crohn’s disease
  • An injury affecting your intestines
  • Bladder cancer
  • Ulcerative colitis 

What is a Colostomy?

This is an operation in which the surgeon creates an opening into the colon through the abdomen. This allows fecal matter to bypass a part of the colon that has been damaged or diseased.

During the procedure, your surgeon will remove any damaged or diseased portions of your colon or rectum. They then take the remaining colon through your abdominal wall and attach it to your skin to create a stoma. A colostomy bag is then pouched around the stoma.

What is the Difference Between a Colostomy and an Ostomy?

As you may have gathered so far, there is not a major difference between a colostomy and an ostomy. A colostomy is actually a type of ostomy that allows the body to pass stool when the colon is not working properly, or if a disease is affecting a part of the colon and it needs to be removed.

Side Effects of Colostomy

Very few procedures are without complications. Contact your doctor if you notice any of the following:

  • Leakage of digestive waste
  • Skin irritation 
  • Not passing waste
  • Stomach pain, nausea or vomiting

A hernia can also form around a colostomy. To prevent this you should avoid heavy lifting and wear belts, underwear and other types of clothing that offer support. 

Side Effects of Ostomy

Below are mild to severe complications that you can look out for in addition to those listed above:

  • Diarrhea 
  • Narrowing of the stoma
  • Bowel protruding through the stoma
  • Bleeding
  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Vitamin B12 Deficiency
  • Phantom rectum syndrome – refers to the urge you feel to pass waste even though the rectum has been removed. Thankfully this urge eventually goes away on its own.
  • Short Bowel Syndrome – the inability to absorb water and nutrients
  • Patients who still have their colon, rectum and anus may experience an occasional rectal discharge

Ostomy Care in Cincinnati, Ohio

As an ostomy patient, it’s important to note that it takes time to adjust, but it will get easier. With support from a knowledgeable and experienced nurse at Quality Life Services Home Health, you can take it one step at a time.

If you or a loved one needs ostomy care at home you can contact us today at (513) 860-1481. You can also request additional information by filling out this online form.

IV Drips: What are They and How Do They Work

Most of us are familiar with IVs. If you or a loved one has ever been in the hospital, you probably had first-hand experience with them. You would have noticed the metal stand with a bag attached to it, transferring some kind of liquid into the patient’s body. But few people actually know what exactly an IV is and how it works. 

What are Intravenous Fluids?

Intravenous – or IV, for short – refers to the administration of specially formulated liquids into the body through a vein or veins. These essential fluids are distributed from a drip bag.

Importance of Intravenous Fluids

IV Drips are a staple in hospitals and other healthcare facilities for the following reasons:


The body must stay hydrated so that it can promote wound healing, immunity, concentration and digestion. IV fluids prevent or treat dehydration and electrolyte imbalances caused by sweating, vomiting, and frequent urination. They are also essential for patients who have to sleep for a long time or are unable to eat or drink following surgery.

Pain Medication

Another added benefit is that IV drips allow for medication to reach the bloodstream much quicker, relieving the patient’s pain much faster than taking a pill. The healthcare professional will of course take into account the patient’s medication, body size and age before administering the medication in this way.

Common Types of IV Fluids

The type of fluids used will be determined by your medical condition and the type of treatment you need. Some common components of IV bags include:

  • Saline – This is a solution of salt in water and is the most common type of intravenous fluid. Sodium is an electrolyte, making the saline solution an excellent choice for dehydration and hangovers. 
  • Vitamins – These are included in IV drips because they give us a boost of energy, strengthen our immune systems, and so much more.
  • Electrolytes. These essential elements and compounds refuel our bodies with sodium, potassium, calcium, bicarbonate, magnesium, chloride and phosphate. These in turn hydrate us, regulate our nerve and muscle function, stabilize our blood pressure, and more. 

How do IV Drips Work?

Before the nurse administers the IV fluids, your doctor will decide on the type of fluid that is best suited for you. The nurse will then:

  • Disinfect the area that will be injected. This is usually the inside of the elbow or on top of the hand.
  • Tie an elastic band (tourniquet) around your arm so that blood fills the veins
  • Assess the veins to find the exact spot for injection
  • Use a sterile needle to enter the vein
  • Release the tourniquet and place a small plastic attachment onto the tube
  • Examine the tube to make sure a little bit of fluid can go in.
  • Fasten the IV needle to your arm with tape so that it stays in place
  • Attach the small tube to a longer tube, and then attach it to a bag of fluids
  • Hang the bag from a hook on the IV stand
  • Turn on a machine that pumps the fluid into the IV line
  • Frequently check your IV line and monitor the amount of fluid entering your body

IV Therapy in Cincinnati, OHIO

Quality Life Services Home Health (QLS) offers specialty services that include intravenous (IV) therapy for home health patients. We employ highly qualified and compassionate private nurses who are specially trained in infusion drug administration and line maintenance. 

We proudly serve patients in the counties of Brown, Butler, Clermont, Hamilton, Montgomery, Preble and Warren. If you or a loved one is in need of home health care you may reach us at (513) 860-1481. Contact us today.

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