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Temp indicators for blood products


RRay

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Was previously using Safe-T-Vues but the price is >$2.50 each after last increase.  We are trying Hemo-Tracs from Fisher but having a lot of issues with them.  They relocate on their own and we've had lot specific issues where they will slightly activate having never left the fridge (average temp of 3.6C).  I've troubleshot til I can't anymore.

Anyone know of any that work well and consistently, preferably with no conditioning?  I've used the timestrip ones in the past so I have samples of those on the way for comparison.

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I hate those things..... in my experience, they are not very accurate and are so temperamental. We had the BT10 on all our units that went to the ED fridge a few years ago, hoping it would help us provide return privileges for those units. They too started activating on their own having never been moved from the fridge. 

Must you have the temp indicators? We have a TempCheck device we use here in the bank. People returning products must get them back to us ASAP (no time limit) and we take the temp with that to determine return capability. It's pretty good and has proven accurate to our reference thermometer for years. Plus, it's a one time purchase. :D I've heard of people using infrared temp guns as well, but I've also heard those can be temperamental because of the air temp the infrared beam has to pass through to get to the unit itself.....sounds too complicated.

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55 minutes ago, jshepherd said:

Must you have the temp indicators? 

Not the original poster, but we use them in coolers to the OR and shipping boxes we send to outlying clients.  An electronic data logger accompanies units in the cooler to ensure the cooler has remained at temp; Safe-T-Vue ensures that the unit has remained at temp.  In our shipping boxes, clients have the option of using the Safe-T-Vue as the sole indicator; though most back it up with a temp gun/thermometer reading on arrival.

 

We're going to stick with Safe-T-Vue, despite the price jump.

Edited by Kelly Guenthner
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1 hour ago, Kelly Guenthner said:

Not the original poster, but we use them in coolers to the OR and shipping boxes we send to outlying clients.  An electronic data logger accompanies units in the cooler to ensure the cooler has remained at temp; Safe-T-Vue ensures that the unit has remained at temp.  In our shipping boxes, clients have the option of using the Safe-T-Vue as the sole indicator; though most back it up with a temp gun/thermometer reading on arrival.

This is our process except we don't do a data logger with each cooler.  The indicators are considered an FDA approved device so we don't do both.  We don't use them on every unit, just cooler units, and use the temp gun upon return.

I loathe the indicators and I think they are borderline worthless.  But I'm a bit gunshy of not using them for coolers after being cited many years ago.  That was when there was that hot debate over coolers being transport vs storage.  I was told at that time that the temp gun alone wasn't adequate because it doesn't detect if a unit was out of temp and then back in the cooler long enough to acclimate.

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  • 1 month later...

Just wanted to follow up about this.  I was put in a virtual meeting with the folks who actually create the BT10 indicators (and relabel them for fisher to sell).  It was the most demeaning  meeting I've been part of in a while. 

I was told that any or all of the following HAD to be true:

-The refrigerator temps had to be at 8C or above -- I have 4 continuous monitor probes that have not been over 5.7C in years with an average of 3.4C

-The blood must be over 8C when the indicators are placed -- I have tested this many times with a contact IR thermometer and units very from 5.6-6.7C out of the supplier transport box, they are then left in the fridge at least 30min to acclimate before attaching the indicator which puts them at 5C or less.  I have even placed them on glycerol bags with a probe inside and there is no reason why these things should activate.

-The indicators are not fully attached to the bag -- there is a ring on the indicator that has no adhesive, so getting a full adhesion is challenging but I have more that alert that are fully attached and more than do not alarm that are NOT fully attached.

-I need to activate these, then freeze them until ready for use -- I have to follow manufacturer's written instruction so says the standards (which does not include this) and the product touts that it requires NO pre conditioning at all.  This is crazy.

 

They explained how these work to me about 10 times, when I have no issue understanding the physics.  It just doesn't work like they claim.  I tried an experiment by testing a unit at 5.7C straight out of the shipping box, placed an indicator at 0 min, 15min, 30min, 1hr, 2 hr,while placed in the fridge (3.8C).  Only at day 3, did I get alerts on the 0, 15min and 2 hr indicator.  Then at the 1 week mark, all indicators had alerted.  

I have yet to get further feedback from the manufacturer but at this point my experience with them is so poor that I'm going back to my old vendor.  At no time is anything in the process >7C, much less the 10C at which these are supposed to alert.  Nevertheless... we're doing something wrong. Feel free to poke holes in my experiments. :D

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