Maintaining appropriate temperature control of blood products is a high priority for blood banks. Great care is taken to ensure these therapies are stored within recommended temperature ranges.
For products stored in refrigerators and freezers, such as red blood cells and plasma, AABB Standards specify the following temperature ranges:
- Whole blood and red blood cell components should be stored from 1-6ºC
- Plasma components should be stored ≤ -18ºC
Helmer Scientific offers i.Series® Blood Bank Refrigerators and Plasma Freezers. As required by AABB Standards, these devices are designed to ensure they can maintain the proper temperature for storing blood products.
In addition, i.Series® storage devices feature the i.C3® Information Center, a touchscreen user interface that is integrated into the device. The i.C3® supports transfusion services and blood centers in their efforts to achieve regulatory compliance.
AABB Standards require monitoring storage temperatures. The standards also state the temperature shall be monitored continuously and recorded at least every four hours for storage of blood or blood components.
The i.C3® Information Center supports compliance by constantly monitoring the temperature inside a storage device. High or low temperature alarms activate if the temperature exceeds or falls below the alarm limits. The i.C3® also monitors other factors that could impact the temperature, such as door openings and power failure.
In addition, the i.C3® records the temperature. Temperature data can be downloaded from the i.C3® in spreadsheet format or as PDF temperature graphs. The download functionality provides a convenient option for accessing recorded temperature data and can serve as an alternative to paper chart recording.
Blood banks perform quality control checks at regular intervals as part of their Quality Management System. Alarm activations are an important QC step for equipment such as blood bank refrigerators and plasma freezers.
The i.C3® includes an automatic alarm testing feature. Not only does automatic alarm testing make routine alarm checks a more efficient process, but these tests are recorded in an Event Log along with the temperature at which the alarm activated.
The Event Log can be downloaded from the i.C3®, providing an electronic record that supports compliance with the CAP Transfusion Medicine Checklist requirement TRM.42750 on storage unit alarms.
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The i.C3® Information Center is an integral part of i.Series® Blood Bank Refrigerators and Plasma Freezers. It provides critical functionality and supports blood banks in their efforts to achieve regulatory compliance. A series of videos has been created to demonstrate the features of the i.C3®.
Reference: AABB, Standards for Blood Banks and Transfusion Services, 33rd edition