How to Safely Store Vaccines for the Flu Season

How to Safely Store Vaccines for the Flu Season

With the 2019-2020 flu season upon us it’s time for healthcare facilities to take a close look at their refrigeration equipment for vaccine storage and temperature monitoring.  The CDC has published detailed recommendations on how to safely store vaccines in their Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit available online.  This post summarizes their recommendations on how to  safely store vaccines for the 2019-2020 flu season. 

A  Summary of the 2018-2019 Flu Season

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that as many as 42.9 million cases of influenza were reported from Oct. 1, 2018 to May 4, 2019 resulting in 20.1 million medical visits and 647,000 hospitalizations.  At this posting no estimates have been made for the 2019-2020 … Read the rest

Meeting JCAHO Requirements for Refrigerated Storage

Keypad door locks help meet JCAHO requirements for securing samples stored in healthcare organizations’ refrigerators and freezers.  The aim is to control access to lab freezer and lab refrigerator contents while eliminating the risks of keys being lost or duplicated without authorization.  A solution for security departments in healthcare organizations and research labs is the Norlake Secure Guard II™ keypad door lock system.  It is compatible with Nor-Lake glass and solid door scientific refrigerators and freezers as well as certain models from other suppliers.

Secure Guard II, available from Tovatech, provides up to 250 users with access to refrigerated storage units using their existing magstripe ID or proximity ID cards.  Adding and deleting users can be accomplished at the unit.  Stored information is safe due to the non-volatile memory.   An audit trail of the most recent 1500 access attempts provides date, time and user name, and is downloadable via an … Read the rest

When to Specify a Flammable Refrigerator

The 24 cubic foot Norlake refrigerator for flammable storage
The 24 cubic foot Norlake refrigerator for flammable storage

Google refrigerator explosions and chances are you’ll get a lot of hits because of news articles reporting on refrigerator explosions. These events can be spectacular, dangerous and costly. They occur when flammable products are stored in conventional refrigeration units and fumes are ignited by refrigerator electronics such as thermostats, compressors, timers and light switches. A refrigerator for flammable storage is designed to prevent these occurrences. Designs differ from more costly explosion proof refrigerators designed to eliminate the danger of igniting volatile vapors in the laboratory environment.

We agree it is a subtle but important difference. Confusion can occur because most reported refrigerator explosions result when the contents or vapors explode due to an internal ignition source.

Flammable Storage Refrigerator Safety Standards

We’ll start by stating that workarounds do not work when it comes to satisfying NFPA and OSHA guidelines regarding storing … Read the rest

How to Improve Vaccine Storage Temperature Monitoring

The NIST-calibrated DL2 temperature logger kit
The NIST-calibrated DL2 temperature logger kit

Vaccine storage temperature monitoring and reporting are critical requirements for healthcare facilities participating in the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program. Procedures are clearly spelled out in the CDC’s Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit.
To comply with these procedures vaccine refrigerators and freezers must be equipped with temperature alarming and recording devices. A temperature logger kit now available from Tovatech can be installed on vaccine storage units that otherwise meet CDC regulations but lack temperature logging and alarming capability.

NIST-Certified Temperature Logger

Supplied with a 5 volt DC power adapter, the compact .75” x 9.25” x 5.5” (HWD) NIST-calibrated DL2 temperature logger kit stores data on a 4GB USB flash drive for retrieval and archiving to a PC or Mac. It is equipped with a backup rechargeable lithium-ion battery that operates the logger for up to 20 hours in the event of a power failure.… Read the rest

Compact Vaccine Refrigerators Meet Tight State Regs

Tighter state regulations governing vaccine storage may impose stricter standards than those recommended by the CDC for temperature control and uniformity. Small to medium sized practices may want to check their state regulations for vaccine storage, especially if they participate in the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program.

In response to these new regulations Tovatech offers a new compact vaccine refrigerator line designed for small to medium-size medical practices while retaining external dimensions consistent with popular undercounter and countertop models. This is achieved with thicker wall insulation. Units are available in capacities ranging from 0.8 to 3.4 cubic feet (see table).

Vaccine Refrigerator Performance Specs

All models feature digital thermostats and are temperature stable within 2⁰ of set temperatures. All are equipped with high/low temperature alarms and NIST-calibrated internal temperature readouts to the nearest tenth of a degree.

In accordance with CDC recommendations these vaccine refrigerators feature self-closing shelf-less doors to … Read the rest

Glass Front Tabletop Lab Refrigerator with Temperature Alarms

Compact table top glass door lab refrigerator
Compact table top glass door lab refrigerator

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 … Read the rest