In acute wounds, drainage typically decreases over several days while the wound heals, whereas in chronic wounds, a large amount of drainage is suggestive of prolonged inflammation with failure to move into the proliferative phase of wound healing.1 An increase in drainage with malodor can be an indication of infection and should be treated appropriately based on the overall picture and goals of wound care.

The accumulation of exudate in the gap between the wound bed and the wound dressing is often referred to as exudate pooling. Exudate pooling is likely in wounds with irregular topographies, pockets, or cavities and this can impact negatively on wound healing by causing maceration and potential infection

Bates-Jensen BM. Assessment of the patient with a wound. In: Doughty DB, McNichol LL, eds. WOCN Society Core Curriculum: Wound Management. Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer; 2016:38-67.

Sibbald RG, Williamson D, Orsted HL et al (2000) Preparing the wound bed — debridement, bacterial balance, and moisture balance. Ostomy Wound Manage 46(11): 14–35