Exudate Management: Understand Wound Healing Better

What is Exudate?

Exudate is produced from the fluid that leaked out of blood vessels. It very much resembles the blood plasma. The rate of fluid leaked from the capillaries into the tissue depends on the permeability and the pressure across the capillary walls. In layman language, exudate can be defined as the pus that oozes out of the wound. In general, nearly all the wounds contain some amount of exudate. However, the actual amount depends on the wound type. As the wound heals, the exudate production reduces gradually.

Management of Exudate

The management of exudate holds an integral position in wound care. Exudate management aids in reducing healing time, chances of developing a peri-wound skin infection, frequent dressing changes, and improved the patient's quality of life.

Indicators of poorly managed exudate

  • Discolorations of the wound bed
  • Excoriations of wound skin
  • Pain on or around the wound site
  • Delayed Healing
  • Malodour

How to manage Exudate?

Local wound management consists application of negative pressure wound therapy products and appropriate types of dressings. The management of exudate depends on the type of exudate. There are five major types of wound exudates -

  1. Serous: Serous exudate is clear, thin, and watery drainage, seen during the inflammatory stage of wound healing. Although a little exudate of this type is normal, however, excessive drainage may require effective management.
  2. Sanguineous: Sanguineous exudate is defined as the fresh bleeding that accords in the case of deep partial-thickness wounds.
  3. Serosanguineous: The exudate is noted to have a pale red or pink color owing to the mix of red blood cells and serum. Serosanguineous exudate is the most prevalent type of exudate experienced by patients. The thin and watery drainage is the fluids leaving the body while the wound heals.
  4. Serosanguineous: The seropurulent exudate is a yellow to a tan-colored fluid that is often spotted when the wound is colonized. It is indictive to the treatment changes that must be made for wound healing.
  5. Purulen: When purulent drainage occurs, it is an indication that the wound bed requires immediate wound infection treatment. Purulent drainage is not normal in a healthy wound. Therefore, it is essential to turn up to your doctor at this stage.

Quantity of Wound Drainage

Your physician will analyze the wound and pay heed to its consistency. The doctor may also look at the quantity of wound drainage. The higher the drainage, the higher the bioburden. There are plenty of different types of wound dressings to manage varying levels of drainage.

High Wound Drainage

The wound dressing should absorb excessive exudate. For a wound that exhibits high exudate, the dressing used must be such that it keeps the wound bed moist and humid. Similarly, it must manage the exudate adequately without being changed often.

High wound drainage makes the skin around the wound prone to maceration. Therefore, a silicone dressing such as the Medline Versatel One Contact Layer Silicone Wound Dressing. It adheres gently to the skin and prevents pain during removal. The thin and flexible dressing conforms to body contours for a comfortable yet secure seal that minimizes peri-wound maceration.

Additionally, the Molnlycke Mepitel Safetac Transparent Wound Contact Layer minimizes trauma to the wound and pain to the patient during dressing changes. The contact layer prevents damage to newly formed delicate tissue upon removal and reduces the risk of maceration.

Medium Wound Drainage

The medium wound dressings include foam dressing which draws fluid into air spaces via capillary action; they have a hydrophilic contact layer that encourages the fluid to pass through the dressing away from the wound bed. Pseudo-foams are hydroactive dressings that draw the fluid into the dressing; as the fluid is absorbed, the dressing physically expands. The fluid is then held within the foam structure. The backing of the dressings is designed to allow evaporation of small amounts of fluid, therefore, enhancing the dressing total fluid capacity handling.

The Hollister TRIACT Foam Dressing with Silicone Border provides a moist wound interface and aids avoidance of trauma to delicate tissue upon removal. It is easy to apply and reduces the risk of maceration. Additionally, the silicone border allows virtually pain-free removal. One other product that makes it easier to manage medium wound drainage is the Medline Optifoam Gentle Silicone Face and Border Dressing. It features a specially formulated silicone adhesive to keep the dressing in place. The dressing is highly absorbent, the perfect solution to promote an ideal healing environment.

Low Wound Drainage

Wounds that have little to no drainage do not need dressings with high absorbency. They are fairly easier to manage as compared to the other two types of wounds. Most importantly, a low drainage wound does not require dressings that offer high moisture. However, too dry wounds often lead to delay in the healing process.

Molnlycke Mepilex Border Lite Self Adherent Foam Dressing is designed for low-exuding acute and chronic wounds. The dressing is credited for creating an optimal wound healing environment for faster recovery. Moreover, it is proved to offer patient comfort and minimize skin damage while dressing change.

The choice of dressing is evocative of the actual condition of the wound. Subsequently, the accurate assessment and treatment of underlying conditions in combination with appropriate dressing selection are needed to promote successful wound healing. At Shop Wound Care, we have a carefully selected range of wound dressings designed for all your essential wound care needs


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