We want our patients’ wounds to be moist, but not overly moist.
The type of drainage can tell us what’s going on in a wound.
Wound fluid or ‘exudate’ in the right amount can bathe the wound with nutrients and actively cleanse the wound’s surface.
However, while some wounds will naturally (and healthily) produce a lot of exudate, this excess wetness can be very uncomfortable for the patient, and can quickly produce strong odors, as well as damage surrounding tissue, which can lead to wound infection.
Sanguinous exudate is fresh bleeding, seen in deep partial-thickness and full-thickness wounds.
A small amount may be normal during the inflammatory stage, but we don’t want to see blood in the wound exudate, as this may indicate trauma to the wound bed.
Next we have the famous serosanguineous exudate, which is thin, watery, and pale red to pink in color.
It seems to be everyone’s favorite type of drainage to document, but unfortunately, it’s not what we want to see in a wound. So what types of drainage do you see being documented? Are you really seeing drainage that indicates trauma to the wound bed, or is the drainage type mislabeled?