Acute and chronic exudate Exudate is mainly water, but it also contains electrolytes, nutrients, proteins, inflammatory mediators, protein-digesting enzymes, such as matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), growth factors and waste products, as well as cells such as neutrophils, macrophages and platelets.
It was assumed that because contact with wound fluid was beneficial to the healing process in acute wounds, the same approach should be applied to chronic wounds.
It is now known that chronic wound fluid contains substances detrimental to cell proliferation, and maintaining contact between a chronic wound and its fluid is likely to delay healing.
Similar to some fabrics that are used in athletic clothing and some types of socks, some dry dressings are made from materials that spread any wound exudate laterally over the entire fabric, rather than just soak through the material at the wound’s wettest spots.
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.
Gradual acceptance of the benefits of moist wound healing, combined with the current goals of the 'ideal' moist environment, focuses attention on the role of exudate.
This review is intended to define the components and functions of 'normal' exudate and differentiate it from abnormal exudate.
Hydroconductive action is controlled by Darcy’s Law that defines the ability of a fluid to flow through porous media.
Fluid can move from wetter to drier – even against gravity.
Ions from the exudate form a mobile layer of the opposite charge known as the electric double layer, effectively reversing the charge on the surface of the dressing to become positive.