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Reliable Ultra-Low Freezers for Short-Staffed Clinical Labs

Posted on Jun 13, 2023 by Colleen Holtkamp

A person looking into a ULT

Clinical labs rely on ultra-low freezers to store valuable samples and other materials within a specified temperature range. Storage at the proper temperature safeguards the integrity of these items, which is essential for ensuring accurate test results and maintaining regulatory compliance.

Freezer malfunctions that cause the temperature inside the unit to rise cause disruption to laboratory operations. In addition to the time spent dealing with equipment issues, consequences of freezer warm-ups include potential financial impact to the organization and the possible loss of irreplaceable samples.

Clinical laboratories are currently facing unprecedented challenges with staffing. It is estimated there is a shortage of up to 25,000 medical laboratory professionals in the U.S.

As laboratories struggle to fill vacant positions, current personnel are stretching to manage the workload. Laboratory professionals may be working more than one job or putting in extra hours to try and fill staffing gaps.

With clinical laboratories doing more with fewer staff members, poorly performing or unreliable storage equipment is the last thing they should have to worry about. Helmer Scientific supports the efforts of clinical laboratories by providing reliable ultra-low freezers that our customers can depend on.

One of the most important concepts in the design of a reliable ultra-low freezer is an optimized refrigeration system that protects the compressor. Oil management is critical to preventing freezer warm-ups.

The compressor, which must move refrigerant through the copper coils, requires oil to function properly. Unfortunately, oil that sits idle in an extremely cold environment will form clogs that prevent the refrigerant from moving through the system. This issue is referred to as "oil logging."

The clogs result in warm-ups because they prevent the refrigerant from moving through the system to cool. When warm-ups occur, the solution is to remove the contents of the freezer, defrost it for 2 or 3 days, and then restart. A service company may be called in to assist, resulting in additional cost.

The best way to eliminate this disruptive and potentially expensive scenario is to use a freezer designed to prevent oil logging. Ultra-low freezers from Helmer Scientific incorporate a three-step approach to oil management: first by minimizing the oil in the evaporator section, then by preventing oil from collecting anywhere in the system, and then by keeping the oil flowing at low temperatures.


Visit our website for additional information and resources on reliable ultra-low temperature storage.

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Colleen Holtkamp

Written by Colleen Holtkamp

Helmer designs, manufactures, and markets specialized medical and laboratory equipment to customers in more than 125 countries. With an extensive background in Helmer products, Colleen’s focus is on the Clinical Laboratory and Blood Bank segments.

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