The final agreement, after five rounds of discussions among panel experts, was as follows:
Patients should call their physician if they experience:
- Wound drainage
- Wound opening
- Wound redness or changes in the appearance of the surrounding skin or around the ostomy
- No bowel movement or lack of gas/stool from the rectum for more than 24 hours
- Increased abdominal pain
- Abdominal swelling
- High ostomy output and or dark urine or no urine
- Fever greater than 101.5
- Patient is not able to take anything by mouth for more than 24 hours.
Patients should go to the emergency room if they
- Have shortness of breath or are unable to breathe
- Have chest pain
The authors said they see this list as "a starting point in the process of developing a more sophisticated decision-making tool, ultimately to be included in the patient-centered discharge plan."
Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.