Advice for obtaining and sampling new products

Advice for obtaining and sampling new stoma products

Products for people with stoma’s are in a constant state of development, some products are phased out whilst others are updated. Some are even brand new to the market. You may be happy with your current supplies, they may do exactly what you want and expect, however, supposing a product came along which was far superior to what you are using …. How would you know? How would you find out about them?

Google is a wonderful thing, (Google “Stoma Samples”) but for me, I find a lot of my information comes from the quarterly newsletter from the Ileostomy & Internal Pouch Association ( Within this are plenty of manufacturer’s advertisements, which often detail new products.

As an example, as an Ileostomist, my output often “burns” my skin. Through looking around, I discovered “Dermacol” – a collar that fits over a stoma (the stoma pouch then sits on top of that) this then prevents any of my poo touching my skin. No more burning for me!

Samples also give you an obvious opportunity to “try” any product before committing yourself, but if you remain unconvinced as to a products usefulness, feel free to ask for additional samples. Sample stoma bags for example are normally supplied in packs of three or so …. Which hardly gives you any time to evaluate.

You may find it better to approach your normal delivery company and ask them to source the samples you require … most will be willing to do this for you, and may even have a variant of their own for you to also try.

However, some companies are more generous than others in the quantity they supply.

I asked my delivery company to supply some samples of a new pouch and they delivered four of them. I then approached the manufacturer direct and they sent me a box of 30, although I’m sure this is the exception to the rule.

Some samples received may be cut down versions to save costs. As an example, I once received an aerosol of a well-known brand which contained an eighth of the quantity of a full can. Spray deodorants are often supplied in miniature form rather than full size. You can’t blame the manufacturers for this though, they obviously want you to use their products, but they cannot afford to give it away, so a fine line with quantity is made, they supply just enough as a taster.

Just a word of advice, if you approach the manufacturer direct, expect to be placed on their mailing list in an attempt to have you use their delivery company instead. One company I used telephoned me 17 times following a sample they supplied. I can understand a couple of calls as a follow up to see how I got on, but 17 calls is pushing it somewhat!

Samples I have requested over the years are varied – pouches, thickeners, deodorisers, covers, adhesive wipes and sprays, gels and wet wipes …. The list goes on.

My partner has a colostomy  and through samples, she has discovered what the perfect pouch is for her. They would be no good for me though, but everyone is different, and we all have different needs – this is where sampling comes in.