Myths and Challenges

Demystifying Exudate1

MYTH
'Exudate is not good'
TRUTH
TRUTH

Although the composition or excess quantities of exudate can be harmful or delay healing, they are still important in aiding healing, based on the theory of moist wound healing.

MYTH
MYTH
'More exudate means more bacterial load or overt infection'
TRUTH
TRUTH

Excess exudate could be because of various underlying causes. Therefore, identifying and treating the cause should be a part of the management plan.

MYTH
MYTH
'Soiled dressings are useless'
TRUTH
TRUTH

Soiled dressings provide useful information about exudate and the suitability of the dressing for the wound. They can help to guide wound management and dressing selection.

MYTH
MYTH
'The right dressing is the right solution for all problems associated with exudate'
TRUTH
TRUTH

Although dressing selection is important for exudate management, treating contributory or underlying factors and modifying the wound environment are quintessential.

MYTH
MYTH
'All you need is more padding'
TRUTH
TRUTH

Good management of exudate requires reassessment of the patient and the wound management plan when strikethrough or leakage continue or worsen.

MYTH
  1. World Union of Wound Healing Societies (WUWHS). Principles of best practice: Wound exudate and the role of dressings. A consensus document. London: MEP Ltd, 2007.