SMTL Dressings Datacard

Product Name: Sorbsan SA
Classification Name: Dressing Calcium Alginate Island
Manufacturer: Pharma-Plast Ltd, Steriseal Division


Sorbsan SA consists of a layer of alginate fibre (see Sorbsan), bonded centrally onto a thin sheet of polyurethane foam, which is coated with an acrylic adhesive to form a self-adhesive island dressing. When in contact with serum or wound exudate, the insoluble calcium alginate fibre forming the island 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. Although the foam backing is permeable to water vapour, it has the effect of reducing moisture vapour loss from the surface of a lightly exuding wound and thus prevents the dressing from drying out.


Sorbsan SA should be reserved for the management of lightly exuding wounds which are unsuitable for treatment with a plain alginate sheet.


Although there are no known contra-indications to the use of Sorbsan SA, the dressing will be of little value if applied to heavily exuding wounds as it will require replacing too frequently. If wounds show signs of clinical infection, it may not be appropriate to apply Sorbsan SA. In these situations the use of a Sorbsan sheet used in conjunction with a suitable absorbent dressing should be considered.

Method of use

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. A transluscent bubble visible through the back of the foam indicates that a change is required although on low exudate wounds the dressing may often be left in place for up to a week.


The dressings are presented individually packed in peel pouches, sterilised by ethylene oxide.


9 cm 11 cm

Revision Details

Revision AuthorDr S. Thomas
Revision No 1.3
Revision date1997/12/16

This datacard has been prepared from data provided by the manufacturer and/or from published literature.

All materials copyright © 1992-2007 by the Surgical Materials Testing Lab. unless otherwise stated.

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Last Modified: Thursday, 28-Mar-2002 10:23:14 GMT