Wound drainage is not always a bad thing. Depending on the color and consistency of the exudate, the wound may be demonstrating routine healing or may be indicative or infection.
There are four main types of drainage:
|Sanguineous||Bright red||Somewhat thick, syrup-like||Occurs during blood vessel development||No|
|Serous||Clear or slightly yellow||Thin, but slightly thicker than water||Contains sugars, white blood cells, and proteins for tissue healing||No|
|Seropurulent||Cloudy, yellow, tan||Varies from thin to somewhat thick||Beginning sign of infection / bacteria colonization||Yes|
|Purulent||Cloudy, milky, yellow, tan, grey, green, brown||Thick and milky||Pus, foul smell, and painful – indicative of possible infection||Yes|
Note: Not all wounds follow these guidelines specifically. Any change in drainage color, odor, or sensitivity should be reported and discussed with your physician to determine possible signs of infection.