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Kmur4kits

Alarm Checks and Chart Recorder Readings

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Hello. I need some assistance. In our blood bank, we are supposed to check that our chart temperature recorders move and record the temperature at the point where a high or low alarm sounds on our refrigerators, freezers, and platelet incubators. The problem is, most devices now have alarm checks that are in the computer software, so when they are activated, they do not change the cabinet temperature, and therefore do not make the chart pen move. Now for the refrigerators and platelet incubators, that's not a problem because we can warm and cool the probes. The problem is our freezers. We have a plasma freezer at about -25 C and a deep freezer at about -85 C. Does anyone out there do this procedure and how do you do it? Does anyone mind sharing? Is it even mandatory to do this?

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I only monitor the high temperature of my freezer (alarms at -20C).

I take the probe and solution outside the box and put my NIST thermometer in the solution also.

Take the temp of the NIST when the alarm sounds.

Does your thawing bath have an alarm?  Do you check that also?

 

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We do just check the high temp of the freezers and we do have an alarm on our thaw baths that we check. The issue is with the chart recorder on the freezers. The pen does not move when the alarm is sounding. I need to know if anyone is doing this "chart and alarm check" and how to deal with it.

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For our Ultra low freezer we change the chamber temp to the alarm range. For the freezer we are able to place the chart probe and chamber probe in alcohol and add rt water until it alarms. 

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We recently got some new refrigerators and for the alarm checks there is just a button we press for high and low alarm checks which automatically cools or warms the temperature of the probe. This only affects the probe - the chart pen does not move.  i would presume all modern refrigerators have this function.  Why should I have to mess around with the probe, taking it out of its container and placing it in warm or cold water - possibly damaging it in the process - all so that the pen on the chart can move? Aren``t these automatic probe checks, with retreiveable documentation, good enough for CAP? 

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On 12/13/2019 at 9:12 AM, YorkshireExile said:

We recently got some new refrigerators and for the alarm checks there is just a button we press for high and low alarm checks which automatically cools or warms the temperature of the probe. This only affects the probe - the chart pen does not move.  i would presume all modern refrigerators have this function.  Why should I have to mess around with the probe, taking it out of its container and placing it in warm or cold water - possibly damaging it in the process - all so that the pen on the chart can move? Aren``t these automatic probe checks, with retreiveable documentation, good enough for CAP? 

You would think the automatic alarm check should be sufficient. I don't know if CAP is OK with the chart not moving, but AABB told me that the chart pen should move to the point where the unit alarms...which means I have to mess around with the probe (which I hate doing since we could damage it).

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On 12/11/2019 at 11:03 PM, pinktoptube said:

For our Ultra low freezer we change the chamber temp to the alarm range. For the freezer we are able to place the chart probe and chamber probe in alcohol and add rt water until it alarms. 

Do you have a chart on your ultra low freezer? Changing the chamber temp to the alarm range may not be enough to make the chart pen move. Are you using isopropyl alcohol that has been prechilled for your plasma freezer?

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On 12/15/2019 at 5:53 PM, Kmur4kits said:

Do you have a chart on your ultra low freezer? Changing the chamber temp to the alarm range may not be enough to make the chart pen move. Are you using isopropyl alcohol that has been prechilled for your plasma freezer?

The ultra-low chart is electronic, we download it monthly. 

Yes, it is prechilled for the freezer.

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On 12/15/2019 at 4:51 PM, Kmur4kits said:

You would think the automatic alarm check should be sufficient. I don't know if CAP is OK with the chart not moving, but AABB told me that the chart pen should move to the point where the unit alarms...which means I have to mess around with the probe (which I hate doing since we could damage it).

We also use the electronic alarm functions on our equipment, and at our last assessment the inspector brought up the chart pen moving.  She told me the purpose of the alarm checks is to make sure the pen moves.  I disagreed with her, said the purpose of the alarm checks is to ensure that the alarm is activated, and we check the movement of the pen each day when we do our temperature checks.  She thought about it for a while and ended up not citing us for this.  I know there are facilities who have abandoned their graphs for centralized electronic monitoring, so I don't see how they can require that a pen move when these sites do not even have pens or graphs.

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We were sighted by CAP for this and had to go back to manual temp alarms (placing all of the probes in the water bath rather than using the electrical check).  It is also in the guidance in the online version of the AABB standards, standard 3.7.

 

 

 

 

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We also have previously been using the automated alarm check on our newer equipment.  I have never manually done alarm testing on a platelet incubator.  Any tips or tricks with a room temperature device?

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2 hours ago, jtrick said:

We also have previously been using the automated alarm check on our newer equipment.  I have never manually done alarm testing on a platelet incubator.  Any tips or tricks with a room temperature device?

I am also interested in how others are checking the Platelet incubator. Our probes are incased in some metal protective shield that makes them very difficult to get to. There are only some little nubs sort of sticking out about an inch or so.

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The probe on my plt incubator is out in the open.  I actually have placed it in a 5cc syringe w DI H2O.  Knocks the sensitivity down a bit which is good.  I take the probe (in the syringe) and place it in an ice water bath and a warm water bath.  I document the temp when the alarm sounds.  This allows the chart to also document the temp checks.   I also document the internal thermometers with the NIST standardized one.  It is almost impossible to get the NIST therm into the liquid with the probes. 

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I

20 hours ago, DebbieL said:

I am also interested in how others are checking the Platelet incubator. Our probes are incased in some metal protective shield that makes them very difficult to get to. There are only some little nubs sort of sticking out about an inch or so.

I removed my probe from its cover left it that way so that I could access the probe as needed. When completed, I just replace the probe in its cover but do not "lock" it into place.

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20 hours ago, David Saikin said:

The probe on my plt incubator is out in the open.  I actually have placed it in a 5cc syringe w DI H2O.  Knocks the sensitivity down a bit which is good.  I take the probe (in the syringe) and place it in an ice water bath and a warm water bath.  I document the temp when the alarm sounds.  This allows the chart to also document the temp checks.   I also document the internal thermometers with the NIST standardized one.  It is almost impossible to get the NIST therm into the liquid with the probes. 

Good idea with the syringe!

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