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For more information, see Module 4.

Exudate is the fluid produced by the wound during wound healing and must be managed effectively if the optimal moist environment for wound healing is to be created (White & Cutting, 2006).

Exudate management is one of the keys to successful wound healing. Consistency of the exudate should be recorded. Exudate can range from pus, serous, viscous or blood-stained fluid. Exudate is fluid that is produced by the wound during wound healing and must be managed to keep the wound in a moist environment to promote healing.

It is currently known that wound exudate is produced in response to a complicated interaction between:

  • Wound aetiology
  • Wound healing physiology
  • Wound environment
  • Compounding pathological processes

(WUWHS, 2019)

Wound exudate is often misconceived as ‘bad’. However, exudate is known to assist healing by:

  • Preventing the wound drying out
  • Aiding the migration of tissue repairing cells
  • Providing essential nutrients for cell metabolism
  • Enabling the diffusion of immune and growth factors
  • Assisting separation of dead or damaged tissue (autolysis)

(WUWHS, 2019)

However, exudate can become a problem when the quantity produced and its composition can delay or prevent the wound healing process. (Exudate will be discussed in further detail in Module 4).