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Continence products: a need for larger sizes?


Answer our survey on continence products.

What came first: the chicken or the egg?

Personal experience - and calls to the PromoCon helpline - suggest to me that the current size range of disposable all-in-one products (nappies), is not meeting the needs of an increasing number of our patients.

From a personal point of view, I have been lobbying manufactures for years to try and get a better range of products for children, but my pleas have fallen – repeatedly - on deaf ears. “There isn’t enough demand,” they tell me; yet discussions with my colleagues tell me there is.

Whatever you feel about bigger children wearing nappies, there is no doubt that the age at which children are now toilet trained has increased over the last 30 to 40 years from around two to around three. This has been cited to be for a number of reasons, with a combination of disposable nappies and lazy parenting squarely to blame in some people’s minds.

That said, children are getting bigger and we are being asked by an increasing number of families of two year olds where bigger nappies can be obtained. For parents of children with special needs who have intractable continence problems, the lack of appropriately sized, disposable continence products causes them much distress.

At the other end of the scale, there is an increasing awareness that for our bariatric patients the size range available in the UK is severely limiting. However, a quick search on the internet and you can find XXXL sizes – but they are currently available only in America. Again, when manufacturers have been petitioned to bring these bigger sizes into the UK we are told that there does not seem to be a demand for them. There isn’t a demand because people don’t know they are potentially available!

So, in order to get manufacturers to start thinking about extending their size range, we need to convince them that there is a need. We would be grateful, therefore, if people could take a few minutes to complete the short survey below. If enough people respond, then we can present the manufacturers with the results.

June Rogers MBE


Readers' comments (4)

  • i don't work in the continence field, but I have engaged with NHS buying in other areas in which 'a vital need' has been identified by staff and co-workers.

    By way of example this covers decent quality gloves for patients with severe hand eczema, including children. Both for wear during the day and for wear at night. Such products relied on hospital sales and promotion of the product to enable the patient to identify the brand and opurchase it when back in their normal environment.

    Specialists in the area saw a massive need for these products but when they were supplied up take by those same specialists was low and patients were not informed regarding where they could source outside the hospital environment (even though this information was available). This meant sales fell to the point that products had to be withdrawn.

    I am not saying there is a direct comparison with continence products and I sincerely hope that anyone that needs such a product can find a source. I am saying that calls by people 'at the coal face' are often very unreliable indicators that a product will be succesful in the market (for what reason I do not speculate).

    I would welcome suggestions on how such a system could be improved.

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  • This is a common problem and one that has been ignored for a long time with products really only existing in the USA.

    We have now imported the Prevail XXL product -

    this product goes upto a 94" waist/hip.

    Also we are trialing extension belts for their Tena Flex products to bring these upto an 84" waist/hip -

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  • [url][/url]


    Hopefully this will fix your links for you.

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  • Effective continence mangement can be very challanging when nursing bariatric patients, when there are limited products that cater for this patient population. I am not convinced that products that offer XXXL waist measurements are the only answer.

    At the end of the day those who require continence pads are trying to achieve social continence, whilst hopefully undertaking a continence managment and treatment plan that will ultimately reduce or cure their episodes of incontinence.

    In the baratric patient population it is challanging to ensure a secure fit of a continence pad based on waist measurements when using an all in one system.
    As you are aware without a secure fit in the perineal area, it is likely that leakage and skin excoriation is imminent.

    Just some food for thought.

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