Peristomal skin complications reported by WOC nurses in Central Virginia
The range of peristomal skin complications reported in the literature is between 10 and 70%. Inconsistent terminology as well as a lack of a standardized tracking tool may account for this wide range. The purpose of this study was to describe peristomal skin complications seen by WOC nurses over a one year period using a standardized data collection tool.
A prospective research design was utilized to describe peristomal skin complications of ostomy patients that were seen within the first 2 months of ostomy surgery by WOC Central Virginia Affiliate nurses. The WOC nurse completed a peristomal skin complication form on each ostomy patient that was seen within 2 months of the original ostomy surgery regardless of whether or not they had a peristomal complication. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize the data.
Twelve WOC nurses saw a total of 89 patients over one year of which 42 patients (47%) had peristomal complications and 47 did not have peristomal complications. There were 46 females and 43 males. The settings of the patient encounters were recorded as 32 encounters in the hospital, 31 encounters in the home health setting, and 26 encounters in the outpatient clinic. The major types of ostomies seen: were 37 colostomies, 33 ileostomies, and 15 urinary conduits. Thirty-one patients had chemical damage to the peristomal skin (irritant dermatitis), 5 had mechanical injury, and 4 had Candida infections, 1 had an allergic reaction, and another patient had pyoderma gangrenosum.
Research studies that describe peristomal skin complications over time and over multiple settings are limited. A central data repository using a standardized tool may be one way to monitor them and then begin to look at standardized evidenced-based peristomal skin care.