Q: How often do you change an incontinent patient?
A: There is no correct amount of time in which someone should change an incontinent patient. However, the best way to keep yourself or a patient clean, and free from irritation or infection, is to change an incontinent patient after they experience an incontinence episode. If the patient is cognizant and can express that an episode has occurred, you can simply change the patient on an as-needed basis. On the other hand, if it is unclear when the patient has urinated, you should look to change them about 4-8 times a day. Good incontinence products should mask the signs and odor associated with urination so it might require either setting a changing schedule or checking to make sure an uncommunicative patient gets changed frequently enough. This is also assuming the patient is using products for a full voiding. If the products are simply used as precaution, in case the patient is not able to make it to the bathroom, there is no need to change the product unless it has been used.
Q: How often should you change incontinence pads?
A: The best way to ensure you are totally protected, and don’t develop irritation or infection, is to change your incontinence products whenever you ‘use’ them. This is to say after you experience leakage into the product, you should change it for a fresh one. If you are out and about, you can also change your product whenever it is convenient for you to visit a bathroom. Waiting a little bit to change a product after urination is not the end of the world, many products wick away moisture from the skin and mask odor to keep you dry and active. However minimizing the time wearing a used product is the best way to avoid any sort of potential problem or side effect. It is also more important to change a product if one has had a large incontinence episode as opposed to just a small leak.
Q: Can period panties be used for incontinence?
A: No, period panties should not be used for incontinence. Period pads are designed to absorb blood not urine. Urine requires 5x the absorbency of blood, thus period products are not equipped with enough absorbent material to manage incontinence. Because urine requires more absorbency and urine loss often occurs more quickly, you are likely to experience oversaturated, leaky underwear if you are using period panties for incontinence. Period panties are also not able to wick away moisture or neutralize odor in the way an incontinence brief would be able to. This can lead to irritation and possible infection as well.