Exudate Management

WoundSource Editors's picture
post-operative wound drainage

As health care professionals monitor the wound drainage of a patient, it is critical to be able to recognize the different types of wound drainage. Open wounds and incision wounds may both present varying types of exudate, some of which are perfectly healthy and others which can signal an infection or slow healing. Identifying wounds that need a change in care can speed the healing process. Here are the four main types of wound drainage health care professionals need to know.

WoundSource Editors's picture
Surgical wound drainage

In normal wound healing, exudate plays an important role in allowing the migration of cells across the wound bed, facilitating the distribution of growth and immune factors vital to healing. Managing wound drainage involves making sure that exudate production is not too much or too little, and making sure the exudate does not have pus which would indicate an infection. Proper wound drainage management improves the patient's quality of life, promotes healing, and enhances health care effectiveness.

WoundSource Editors's picture
healing with alginate dressing

What is an Alginate Dressing?

Biodegradable alginate dressings made from seaweed date back at least fifty years and commercially available alginate has been available since 1983. Often used on wounds with heavy exudate, the alginates used to produce these dressings are made from a variety of seaweeds harvested around the world. Arguably underused, these dressings are not well studied and documented in the medical literature compared to other modern dressings.

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Holly Hovan's picture
comparison

By Holly Hovan MSN, APRN, CWOCN-AP

As wound care clinicians, we are aware that part of the process of consulting requires a comprehensive wound assessment, looking at wound characteristics, causative factors, and drainage. As I've previously mentioned, we've all heard the term, "a dry cell is a dead cell." However, not all wounds are dry.

Lindsay Andronaco's picture
surgical wound bandage and drainage

by Lindsay D. Andronaco RN, BSN, CWCN, WOC, DAPWCA, FAACWS

Wound exudate and how to properly assess and manage it has been a long standing clinical challenge in wound care. Assessing the exudate color, odor, volume, viscosity, and if it is causing maceration of the periwound skin are all important to note when creating a care plan for the patient. If there is not proper management of the exudate, then the high protease levels and low growth factor levels will negatively impact wound healing time.

Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine's picture

by Evangelia Athanasoula and James McGuire DPM, PT, CPed, FAPWHc

The sorbion sachet wound dressing, manufactured by sorbion GmbH & Co. in Germany and marketed in the US by Alliqua Biomedical, is a high capacity dressing that absorbs and holds wound exudate, removes some wound debris, draws in and holds wound bacteria helping to reduce surface bioburden, and maintains a balanced moist wound environment. The dressing uses what it calls "hydration response technology" to accomplish these goals.

Bruce Ruben's picture
Scab

by Bruce E. Ruben MD

In the beginning, long before Johnson met Johnson and Band-Aids were invented, primitive men and women suffered minor cuts and abrasions and probably left them uncovered to heal. After all, the bleeding had stopped, a scab eventually formed and experience had taught them that their skin would heal in a week or two. So there was no great rush to find a use for those puffy, cottony, soft, white plants growing in the fields just yet.

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Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine's picture

by Elliot Fialkoff and James McGuire DPM, PT, CPed, FAPWHc

Ulcers, wounds, and burns come in many different shapes and sizes based in part on their etiology, which also varies dramatically. As many different etiologies as there are for various dermatological insults, there is an even greater number of dressings and treatment options available. DuoDERM® Hydrocolloid is an occlusive gel dressing that helps maintain a moist wound bed. According to the ConvaTec website (the maker of DuoDERM®), "On contact with wound exudate, the hydrocolloid matrix forms a cohesive gel which supports moist wound healing."

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