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Symptom Management:

Symptom Management

Side Effects of Treatment
Side Effects of Chemotherapy
Pain
Fatigue
Appetite Loss
Bladder Disturbances
Incontinence - Urinary
Bleeding
Constipation
Diarrhea
Dryness of the Mouth
Fluid and Electrolyte Imbalances
Hypercalcemia
Flu-like Syndrome
Hair Loss
Infection
Anemia
Itching
Lymphedema
Menopausal Symptoms
Nausea & Vomiting
Neurological Disturbances
Spinal Cord Compression
Peritoneal Effusions
Shortness of Breath
Skin Conditions
Sleep Problems (Insomnia/Oversleeping)
Sore Mouth
Swallowing
Bone Metastases
Coping
Anxiety
Depression
Grief
Sexuality Issues
Sexual Dysfunction
Wound Drainage

Symptom and Description You have an open sore that is draining fluid. Many open sores drain varying amounts of clear fluid. This drainage occurs for many reasons. Sores on your legs and feet drain to relieve fluid pressure. If there are cancer cells in the sore, the blood vessels around the sore may become leaky and drain large amounts of fluid. If the fluid becomes cloudy, you may have an infection. Bloody fluid is a sign of minor bleeding or tissue damage from rubbing, injury from dressing changes, or surgery.

Learning Needs You will need to learn the signs and symptoms of infection and to report to your nurse any of the following:

  • Change in smell, color, amount, or thickness of drainage
  • Redness
  • Warmth
  • Soreness around the wound
  • Puffiness or lumpiness of skin around sore

Prevention If it is possible to keep the sore elevated above the level of your heart, this will help to decrease the amount of drainage. This is easiest to do when the sore is on an arm/hand or leg/foot. At night the sore can be kept elevated on pillows: a gently fastened belt may help keep an arm or leg in place on the pillow. If you need to sleep on your side, a pillow tucked against your chest and another against your back may help keep you from turning out of position.

Limiting the salt in your diet may be helpful. Discuss this with your doctor. Keep dressings firmly on your sore to keep the fluid from leaking out.

Management Astringent soaks, such as Domeboro solution, may help to clean, relieve pain, and decrease drainage from your sore.

  • A tablet/packet is mixed with a pint of tap water. This solution should be kept covered and stored in a cool spot, and can be used for 24 hours.
  • Three times a day, a clean cloth is soaked with the solution and placed in the sore for 15 minutes and then removed.
  • A towel can be placed under the body part to absorb any excess. You will need to put a dressing over the sore to increase comfort and prevent sticking to the sore. The dressing needs to be changed when it becomes wet.

Follow-up Notify your nurse if any of the following occur:

  • Any change in the amount of drainage.
  • If you are needing to do dressing changes more often.
  • If there is any change in the color or odor of the drainage.
  • If there is any bleeding with dressing changes.
  • If there is any change in the feeling or appearance of the skin around the wound.
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2004 2nd Cancer Opinion USA