Stoma bag spares & storage

I was wondering if stoma bags had an expiry date.

With recent events such as COVID, Brexit & wars, is it sensible to keep a few months of stoma bags in reserve in case of future supply issues? 2 weeks ago, my supplier (Medilink" sent me only 1 box instead of 2 boxes of bags as they were out of stock.

What would you do if you ran out?

  • Hi Coojee,On mine there is a expiry date label on the side of the box.My health centre is not very helpful regarding supplies and everything on the prescription has to be agreed by them first.A couple of times I have been asked exactly how many bags I am using each week.I told them it varies.I try to keep a box spare in case there are any delays with the suppliers.Love Jane x

  • Hi Coojee

    My bags have a expiry date. I think it might be difficult to try and stockpile supplies as each order is a prescription that needs signed off by your surgery before it can be dispatched by the supplier. I doubt I would be able to make an order for several months of supplies as it would be queried. I do try to keep some spare when I can, but once when I had run out I ordered for next day delivery from Amazon Prime in desperation! Sometimes suppliers are out of stock, but my supplier would forward me anything they didn’t have as soon as it were available.

    Sarah xx

    Community Champion Badge

    Cervical Cancer Forum

    Macmillan Support Line - 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week between 8am-8pm

  • I've never had problems getting supplies and I use Fittleworths, so I can order online. If I need a change of products, I usually speak to my Stoma Nurse, or I let my GP know via e mail and they add the items.

    I usually have about two weeks supplies in the house and can get an emergency delivery in 24-48 hours. If I'm going away, I usually take enough supplies for a daily bag change, although I never use them, it fends off the anxiety.

    It doesn't matter where you go, there you are
  • Running out is not an option !  I always ensure that I have more than enough in reserve - over time, a few extra each month soon mounts up to a comfortable stock level - there are vatious justifications for more than the bare minimum of ordering - ocassional leaky bags, sweating in hot weather causing glue problems, etc.

    The money spent by the NHS on many less essential items leaves me with no conscience about keeping a reserve supply !

  • Totally agree. I've had situations where I change and have been fine for a few days, but I've situations where I've followed all the directions and leaked within minutes. You can never have enough and if your GP surgery is acting a little strange, get your Stoma Nurse to get in touch. You know what you need, you are the expert.

    It doesn't matter where you go, there you are
  • I had a leakage the other week on a bag that had only been on for a few hours! First time in a long time having a problem. It was whilst out enjoying a lovely day on our first foreign holiday for 2 years. It was quite a warm day in Funchal, Madeira and yes was a bit sweaty.

    I suddenly noticed a damp patch on the front of my shorts. Fortunately my shirt covered the area while we visited the local supermarket for some supplies, and we were nearly back to our hotel. So not a disaster, but just shows that these incidents can happen completely random.

    In the first few months of being a bagman, I took an emergency back pack with me everywhere, containing bag changing kit and a change of clothes. But as had never had to use it, became more confident, and don't always have it with me now, like on this recent experience.

    I haven't had any issues with the GP practice querying any orders thus far, so have always maintained a more than adequate supply of everything needed for several weeks, whilst awaiting a top up delivery. It will all get used eventually, so nothing will be wasted. The last thing we need is stress about running out of anything vital in our lives, that have already had an extra burden added compared to people who have bladders!


  • I still take a change kit with me if I'm going distances. I usually only get leaks after changing. Despite all the promotional videos and instructions, which never show person leaking while changing, getting that seal isn't always a one off. However, once I get the seal I can go 4 days or more without changing.

    It doesn't matter where you go, there you are