At first, there will be more wound drainage (pus), but expect less as the wound heals. There should be a gradual reduction in wound drainage over three to five days.
When you remove your bandage (dress-ing), look at it to measure and grade the amount of drainage.
0 – A dry bandage means there is no drainage.
1 – A small stain means there is scant drainage.
2 – If the stain on the bandage matches the wound size and shape, the drainage is small.
3 – If drainage soaked through the bandage, it is moderate.
4 – If drainage is overflowing the bandage, it is heavy.
Another characteristic of wound drainage is its color.
- Thick yellow or green drainage with a bad odor is pus.
- Pale red or pink, thin and watery is a mixture of blood and fluid and often follows the pus stage.
- Sometimes the drainage is thin, bright red and bloody.
- As the wound heals more, the drainage should become thin, watery, clear or light yellow in color.
Tell your Health Care Provider If:
- The drainage does not reduce over three to five days.
- If thin watery drainage becomes thick tan or yellow or bad smelling (pus).