Sunday, July 24, 2011

Science in medicine

If a wound oozes or has drainage, that is fine--as long as it is clear. When it is clear, it is just interstitial fluid. It is just flushing the would and part of the healing process. That is NOT puss. Puss is the opaque fluid that is exuded from an infected wound. It is the same interstitial fluid, but adulterated with dead white blood cells. The white blood cells try to fight the infection, and when they die they are secreted in the form of puss, and they are what makes the fluid opaque. If the puss is trapped and not allowed to drain (such as in an abscess), the white blood cells rot and make the puss stinky.


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