Types of Wound Exudate

Types of exudate:


An exudate is any fluid that filters from the circulatory system into lesions or areas of inflammation.

Exudate is derived from exude, “to ooze

Its composition varies but generally includes water and the dissolved solutes of the main circulatory fluid.



  1. Serous exudate

  • Contains: serum – no cells or clotting factors

  • note: plasma differs from serum in that it contains no cells but contains clotting factors

  • Consistency: watery

  • Colour: clear

  • Indicative of mild, acute inflammation


2. Purlent/suppurative exudate

  • Contains: WBC, bacteria, fluid, proteins, fibrinogen and necrotic cellular debris

  • Consistency: thick fluid

  • Colour: white

  • Indicative of severe infection and injury

 3. Hemoragic exudate

  • Contains: whole blood

  • Consistency: fluid

  • Colour: blood red

  • Indicative of capilliary rupture

 4. Fibrinous exudate

  • Contains: High concentrations of Fibrinogen and Fibrin

  • Consistency: Thick sticky meshwork

  • Colour: yellowish, clear

  • Indicative of severe injury

  • Fibrinous inflammation is often difficult to resolve due to the fact that blood vessels grow into the exudate and fill the space that was occupied by fibrin. Often, large amounts of antibiotics are necessary for resolution.



Martin, Glenn and Porth, Carol, Mattson. 2009. Pathophysiology Concepts of Altered Health States. 8th ed. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. Philadelphia


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