Exudate management is relevant to patient quality-of-life issues as it is often associated with leakage and malodour.It impacts on health economics because failure to control exudate production will lead to increased management costs and patient morbidity.Luckily, many dressings have been developed that incorporate odor-capturing ingredients, such as carbon and charcoal, which help to minimize any pungent smells from wound healing.
This process, called wicking, can be found in a number of dry dressings, such as Medline’s ABD Pads and Smith and Nephew’s Exu-Dry pads, which can replace layers of gauze with one multi-layer contourable dressing.
A delicate balance to keep the correct amount of fluid at the wound interface needs to be achieved.
This can be done by the use of modern dressing materials which either lock the exudate within the body of the dressing or allow the safe passage of exudate through the dressing by means of its MVTR (moisture vapour transmission rate).
Wound fluid or ‘exudate’ in the right amount can bathe the wound with nutrients and actively cleanse the wound’s surface.
The amount of exudate which is produced is individual to the wound however always tends to rise during the inflammatory phase and if infection is present.