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Types of Exudate

Purulent
Purulent

exudate a fluid with a high content of protein and cellular debris which has escaped from blood vessels and has been deposited in tissues or on tissue surfaces, usually as a result of inflammation. It may be septic or nonseptic.

Sanguineous - a Bloody Drainage
Sanguineous - a Bloody Drainage

Composed primarily of blood, sanguineous drainage is generally bright in color and rather thick in its overall consistency, with some comparisons being made to syrup. This specific drainage is most common in deep partial-thickness and full-thickness wounds.

Serosanguineous - a Clear, Blood-Tinged Drainage
Serosanguineous - a Clear, Blood-Tinged Drainage

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. The pink tinge, which comes from red blood cells, indicates damage to the capillaries with dressing changes.

Serous - a Clear Drainage
Serous - a Clear Drainage

Serous drainage is clear, thin, watery plasma. It’s normal during the inflammatory stage of wound healing and smaller amounts is considered normal wound drainage. However, a moderate to heavy amount may indicate a high bioburden. Sanguinous exudate is fresh bleeding, seen in deep partial-thickness and full-thickness wounds.