Sorbsan Plus consists of a layer of alginate fibre (see Sorbsan) bonded on to an absorbent viscose pad which in turn is backed with a pink viscose/polyester layer to indicate the outer surface of the dressing. When in contact with serum, wound exudate, or solutions containing sodium ions, the insoluble calcium alginate is partially converted to the soluble sodium salt, and a hydrophilic gel is produced, which overlays the wound and provides a micro-environment that is believed to facilitate wound healing.
Sorbsan Plus has the same general indications as the plain Sorbsan sheet, for example leg ulcers and pressure areas, but is particularly indicated for heavily exuding wounds.
Although there are no known contra-indications to the use of Sorbsan Plus, the dressing will be of little value if applied to wounds that are very dry, or covered with hard black necrotic tissue.
Method of use
Sorbsan Plus is applied to the wound and held in place with tape or a suitable bandage. Secondary dressings are not usually required because of the extra absorbency imparted by the integral absorbent pad. It has been reported that a small percentage of patients experience a mild `drawing’ or `burning’ sensation immediately after the application of an alginate dressing to a dry wound bed. This sensation, which is usually transient, is thought to be due to the hydrophilic nature of the dressing causing temporary localised drying of the surface of the wound. In most instances, this discomfort may be prevented by moistening the surface of the wound with a small quantity of sterile normal saline immediately prior to the application of the dressing.
Frequency of Change
The interval between dressing changes will depend entirely upon the state of the wound. When applied to heavily exuding or sloughy wounds, Sorbsan Plus may need replacing daily at the beginning of treatment but as healing progresses and the amount of exudate decreases, the interval between changes may be extended to two or three days. As exudate production diminishes further, a change to an alternative dressing such as Sorbsan SA should then be considered.
Wounds that show signs of clinical infection may be dressed with Sorbsan Plus, provided that the dressing is changed daily and systemic antibiotic therapy initiated at the discretion of the medical officer in charge.