Natural disasters often come with unexpected demands that have to be fulfilled within a short time. In case of many casualties, shortage of blood is often a common phenomenon. You’re likely to hear calls for blood donors as health facilities as well as safety responders seek more blood supplies to help meet the increased demand. While many people may respond to calls to donate blood, there may be a challenge when it comes to the storage of the blood. The Food and Drug Administration has set standards that have to be adhered to when handling blood. The lab refrigerators in the affected area may not have the capacity to hold all the blood required in such a scenario. Portable blood refrigerators are a great alternative in such cases. For any caregiver involved in the rescue operations, getting the appropriate portable blood refrigerator that meets the FDA requirements is sometimes a challenge.
What to consider when choosing a laboratory blood refrigerator
Temperature Control and Display
The temperatures in laboratory refrigerators usually vary between 2°C to 10°C while those in the freezers vary from -10°C to -25°C. However, the range may vary further depending on the model. Storage of blood requires temperatures that range between 1°C and 6°C. The refrigerator that you choose to go for should be one that allows for adjustments to the temperatures to hit the desired levels. The refrigerator should be one that can display the internal temperatures outside.
Temperature Alarms and Records
Lab refrigerators need to be checked twice a day manually. Even though automatic refrigerators have self-regulatory mechanisms, there is still a need to do a manual check on the temperatures given the fact that they may malfunction just as is the case with all machines. Quality of blood is critical to its usability. In case of a malfunction in the refrigerator is not noted promptly, there is a high likelihood that the blood stored in it will be rendered unfit for use. The refrigerator of choice should be one that can keep the records of all the temperature variations for purposes of determination of the blood’s fitness. There should be an alarm system that alerts the laboratory staff in case the desirable limits are about to be breached.
Considerations for the Storage of Blood
Removal of blood from the blood tissues is limited to staff who have undergone the relevant specialist training. Moreover, the collection of blood should not be carried out if the patient is yet to be cannulated ready for transfusion. Care also needs to be taken when using stored blood to ensure that it does not stay outside the blood bank for more than 30 minutes. Blood is a perfect culture medium for the growth of bacteria. Storing it in an approved blood refrigerator located in the appropriate storeroom or laboratory helps to ensure conditions that hinder the growth and spread of bacteria and in effect maintaining the safety of the blood for use in transfusion.
Final Tip: Consulting a specialist when looking to acquire a portable blood refrigerator is critical especially if you’re acquiring it for the first time.