Wounds are a pernicious threat in long term care, directly impacting quality of life, undermining health, and attacking the bottom line.

A recent study by the Healthcare Industry Distributors Association revealed that long term care providers see a direct correlation between achieving quality outcomes and medical product selection, including the area of wound care. In this rapidly evolving field, products are being introduced that can improve the rate of wound healing and help improve outcomes while maintaining costs.

One of these products is Cutimed Sorbact, a nonmedicated treatment for colonised and infected wounds. Sorbact® Technology uses a simple physical bonding process to slough away bacteria without disturbing the cells.

There's nothing else like it in today's wound care market, said Nancy Morgan, RN, WOC, co-founder of the Wound Care Education Institute.

“It is easy to use and remove. The bacteria cling to the product and are removed each time the dressing is changed," Morgan noted.

“I think it's fantastic technology, but too few people know about it, especially in post-acute settings."

Available in a variety of applications and sizes, Sorbact products are embedded with dialkylcarbamoyl chloride, or DACC.

They rest against a wound bed, displacing water and irreversibly binding bacteria through hydrophobic interaction.

Essentially, DACC's fatty acids attract and hold onto other fatty acids. Think of it like oil droplets clinging to other oil droplets in water, said Amy Gray, RN, BSN, CWS, a wound care clinical leader for Essity.

Bacteria adhere to the dressing, and all of the bonded microbes are easily removed from the wound along with the dressing.

“Unlike bacteriocidal products, Sorbact doesn't kill the bacteria, thereby leaving cellular debris in the wound bed," Gray said. “With Sorbact, we catch it and remove it. It's truly a physical mode of action."

That means Sorbact can improve the rate of wound healing over traditional methods—by as much as 40%, according to one randomized clinical study.1

Antimicrobial Alternative

A 2019 study published in Internal Drug Resistance found silver-resistant bacterial isolates in 12.6% of samples—among them klebsiella, Staphylococcus, and E. coli.2

Many providers have been reticent to recognize the resistance threat associated with some care products, focusing their stewardship efforts largely on prescribing practices. Swapping antimicrobial-containing dressings for a physical barrier may be an effective alternative for those looking to reduce reliance on drugs and impact patient and regulatory outcomes.

Sorbact also may be a tool more providers want to consider as they ramp up antimicrobial stewardship efforts.

Its effective, alternative mechanism—proven safe for more than two decades in Europe—may help reduce reliance on common broad-spectrum antibiotics while still providing an effective means of removing bacteria from the wound.

Sorbact Technology can be an effective alternative to those dressings containing antimicrobials, which may exhibit resistance to common bacteria found in the wound.

“Sorbact has been demonstrated to be effective, and it's priced competitively," said Tony Forsberg, RN, WCC, Essity's national clinical director. “It only makes sense that skilled nursing providers would want to try it."

Sorbact products are available through all national suppliers and are now supported by Tena's wound care-certified nurse advisers, who can demonstrate use and efficacy onsite.

An extensive product line includes pads, swabs, ribbons, hydrogel, foam and super-absorbent dressings, and more.

Most have a seven-day wear time but can be replaced for prolonged treatment of chronic wounds.

Dignity on Delivery

Wound care nurses are looking for proven products that do what they say they are going to do so they can provide residents with quality care. Sorbact offers a dependable solution that works throughout the dressing's assigned wear time.

As fatty acids build up on the dressing, they continue to attract other fatty acids, accommodating layer upon layer of removable bacteria.

“You're constantly removing bacteria with each dressing change while maintaining a moist wound environment," Gray said. “It really addresses dignity issues. Staff and residents love that—and the atraumatic removal."

With some 15% of Medicare beneficiaries diagnosed with a wound each year—and mounting pressure to reduce the incidence rate in nursing homes—it's time more providers know about alternative approaches.

“We need to get this information out to all the clinicians so they can use the technology to help their patients heal and make a difference in their lives," Morgan said.

For more information, email

  1. Corsi, Alessandro. Comparison of a novel non-mediated bacteria-binding dressing to silver dressings in the management of acute and chronic skin lesions. Poster presentation SAWC 2012.

  2. Infection and Drug Resistance, July 8, 2019, pp. 1985-2001.

Ljungh, A., Yanagisawa, N., and Wodstrom, T. Using the principle of hydrophobic interactions to bind and remove wound bacteria. The Journal of Wound Care, April 2006, Vol. 15, No. 4.