What do you call wound drainage?

Written by angela c
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Wound drainage is a result of an increase in blood flow that is necessary for wounds to heal. The drainage contains the components of blood and the four types are known as serous, sanguineous, serosanguineous or purulent.


Serous fluid is the clear, watery fluid that separates from the blood to bring necessary nutrients like proteins to aid the tissue in healing.


Sanguineous drainage contains large numbers of red blood cells and has a thicker, red appearance.


Serosanguineous fluid, a semi-thick reddish fluid, is the most common type of drainage found in a healing wound. It is the result of the various components of the blood separating from each other as they attempt to perform their various functions necessary for healing to occur.


Thick drainage that contains white blood cells and bacteria is called purulent. This type of drainage has an odour, varies in colour that may include grey, yellow or green, and is indicative of infection. It is sometimes referred to as "pus."

Warning Signs

Notify your physician if you develop a fever, a sudden increase in swelling or drainage or purulent drainage. Failure to treat an infection early can lead to tissue damage that may require surgery.

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