A new line of scientific refrigerators with glass doors help save energy while reducing temperature fluctuations that occur when technicians open refrigerator doors just to check inventory. Content monitoring and location is further simplified because the new Norlake Grand™ Series, now available from Tovatech, is equipped with switch-activated internal lighting. These units have all-stainless interiors, fronts and sides for easy maintenance.
Content Protection Features
Scientific refrigerator contents can represent sizable investments that can be lost if storage temperatures drift outside set parameters. The interval-adjustable auto-defrost Grand Series refrigerators have a digital LED microprocessor temperature controller, offer selectable Centigrade (2⁰ to 10⁰) or Fahrenheit (35.6⁰ to 50⁰), a continuous internal temperature display and offer content protection features including:
• Visual and audible hi/low temperature alarms
• Self-closing doors (with 90⁰ stay-open feature)
• Door open alarms after 30 seconds
• Magnetic door gaskets for a tight seal
• Door locks to … Read the rest
According to the AABB, whole blood should be stored between 1⁰ and 6⁰C. Storing blood at the correct temperature in a small medical or healthcare clinic blood bank is facilitated with a new 4.2 cubic foot undercounter glass door blood bank refrigerator available from Tovatech. Safe storage is enhanced with the unit’s digital LED display microprocessor temperature control range from 2⁰ to 8⁰C, an audible and visual hi/lo temperature alarm and remote alarm contacts. The lock and magnetic gasket-equipped self-closing glass door allows healthcare providers to check contents without opening the door, which admits ambient air.
The Nor-Lake NSBR041WMG/0 undercounter blood bank refrigerator features a continuous content temperature display and is shipped with a free-standing temperature chart recorder and chart paper. The sensor access port also allows fitting of auxiliary monitoring and alarming devices as described in our post on alarming system options.
The four sliding drawers in the … Read the rest
Opening a lab refrigerator to check inventory or retrieve vaccines and biologicals causes an unwelcome interior temperature spike that over time can result in vaccines losing potency. These spikes are more pronounced in a tabletop lab refrigerator typically used in local healthcare clinics and doctors’ offices. A great solution is a glass front tabletop lab refrigerator with audible and visual high-low temperature alarms. Healthcare providers check contents at a glance with the door shut. A switch-activated interior light makes inventory taking easier.
Now available from Tovatech the 2.4 cubic foot capacity Norlake LR031WWG/0 compact table top glass door lab refrigerator features a digital LED display microprocessor temperature control. This allows healthcare personnel to set internal temperatures from +2⁰ to 10⁰C, and it continuously displays content temperature.
The unit is equipped with an internal fan to stabilize cooling and the cabinet is foamed-in-place with CFC-free high density polyurethane insulation. Alarms alert … Read the rest
A new Norlake scientific refrigerator line with easily maintained stainless steel interiors and exteriors, microprocessor temperature control in selectable Centigrade (2⁰ to 10⁰) or Fahrenheit (35.6⁰ to 50⁰), continuous product temperature display, and capacities of 23, 49 and 70 cubic feet is now available from Tovatech. A companion scientific freezer series also in 1, 2 and 3 door configurations provides storage from -13⁰ to -30⁰C (-8.6⁰ to -22⁰F).
The Nor-Lake Grand™ Series of solid-door refrigerators and freezers provide enhanced content protection with visual and audible Hi/Lo temperature alarms that activate when internal temperatures fall outside set parameters. Additional content protection is provided by self-closing doors (with a 90⁰ stay-open feature), open door alarms that activate after 30 seconds, and magnetic door gaskets.
A further refinement on the Energy Star listed auto-defrost Grand Series is a condenser cleaning reminder alarm. For optimum performance periodic cleaning of the condenser coil aids the … Read the rest
The fast-approaching 2014 flu season serves as a reminder for healthcare facility operators to review their vaccine storage practices especially relating to the ability of their vaccine refrigerators to maintain the correct storage temperature. As reported in previous Tovatech posts costs related to loss of vaccine potency due to human error and mechanical failure can be very substantial. Most of these losses occur at the end of the vaccine cold chain – when they arrive at clinics and stored prior to being administered to patients.
Minimizing Vaccine Storage Losses
Human error can be lessened and hopefully eliminated by establishing comprehensive vaccine storage and handling guidelines as suggested in the CDC’s Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit. Losses related to improper storage temperatures can be minimized or eliminated when refrigeration equipment is designed to maintain tight temperature tolerances. The proper storage temperature for refrigerated vaccines is provided by the manufacturer but normally … Read the rest
A July 18 news item reported that in Connecticut the potency of 5,000 doses of vaccines was compromised due to vaccine refrigerator temperature excursions above levels recommended by the manufacturers. Mechanical failure of vaccine refrigerators and human failure to identify temperature excursions were blamed for the event.
The report noted that compromised vaccines posed no danger to an estimated 3800 people vaccinated. But the financial cost of replacement and inconvenience to recipients being revaccinated make a case for strong vaccine storage temperature monitoring.
Not an Isolated Vaccine Storage Incident
“Unfortunately the loss of vaccine potency due to poor temperature control and monitoring is all too common,” says Rachel Kohn, PhD, a co-director of lab equipment supplier Tovatech based in South Orange, N.J. “Refrigeration failure can be very costly. For example, a Tennessee Department of Health study of immunization programs covering 60% of the US population noted that the cost of … Read the rest
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its toolkit for vaccine storage and management incorporating revised recommendations for vaccine refrigeration equipment to better support the vaccine cold chain. The “cold chain” represents the correct temperatures for storage and handling vaccines from the time of manufacture to the point where they are administered to patients. The importance of proper refrigeration is evidenced by the growing costs of vaccines and the need to comply with federally funded and state operated vaccines for children (VFC) programs.
Vaccine storage temperatures are determined by the manufacturer. Typically most refrigerated vaccines must be stored between 2⁰ and 8⁰C. Frozen vaccines should be stored between -50⁰ and -15⁰C. The overriding guideline for VFC-compliant vaccine storage is that the refrigeration system does not allow temperature excursions above or below the recommended storage temperatures. Unlike household and commercial refrigerators and freezers, scientific and pharmacy units such as … Read the rest
Scientific refrigeration equipment – laboratory refrigerators and laboratory freezers – should receive special attention during hot summer months to perform reliably under high humidity and temperature levels. While temperature-controlled workspaces help ease the burden on refrigeration compressors and condensers simple care and maintenance steps provide extra assurance against temperature excursions damaging or destroying valuable vaccines, pharmaceuticals and biological specimens.
Exterior Refrigeration Care Tips
Summer-readying lab fridges and freezers can start with clearing away anything that inhibits air circulation around the unit. Details on this are provided in equipment user manuals but a “for example” is allowing a minimum 4-inch clearance around the top, rear and sides of the cabinet for upright models. Consult the manuals for spacing requirements for undercounter and built-in units.
The temptation to use the top of your lab refrigerator or freezer as a repository for files, manuals and other paraphernalia should be avoided at all times.… Read the rest
Vaccine storage is an important topic that must be addressed by hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities. A good reference is the CDC’s Vaccine and Storage Handling Toolkit*. Among the suggestions are segregating different vaccine formulas used in these facilities to areas that are clearly identified. Store by expiration dates and administer vaccines following first-in-first-out procedures. Expired vaccines should be disposed of in an approved manner in accordance with state health requirements. (Updated December 26, 2013)
Vaccines lose their potency if improperly stored. Clinics should follow manufacturers’ recommended storage temperatures. Residential-grade refrigerators and freezers are not designed to maintain the temperature consistency necessary for proper storage of vaccines. Using these types of units can result in financial loss for clinics and patient aggravation due to spoiled vaccines.
If budgets do not permit the purchase of pharmacy-grade refrigerators and freezers, laboratory refrigerators and and laboratory freezers such
One of the ways healthcare facilities can help control costs is thorough proper storage of vaccines. The importance of this is stressed in a vaccine management brochure published by the Centers for Disease Control that calls attention to the cost in time and money when compromised vaccines must be replaced. The exercise includes locating patients who may have received compromised vaccines and determining if they need to be re-vaccinated. (Updated December 5, 2013)
The report goes on to note that the right equipment, trained staff, and written standard operating procedures for handling vaccines in all situations will help avoid many of these problems.
Proper storage is one of the most crucial elements in safeguarding the potency of vaccines and the safety of patients. Vaccine manufacturers are careful to note the proper storage temperatures, but have little influence on the equipment used by healthcare facilities to maintain these temperatures. Standard household … Read the rest