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Tissue - monitoring the temp of tissues returned from the OR

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We are becoming involved in tissue management, having moved implantable tissue (bone, tendon, etc) into the lab, and finding that the OR / surgeon expects to be able to put frozen products back in the -80 freezer, perhaps with a shorter (6 month) outdate. Surgeons like to see several products and choose one. We had assumed, once out of the freezer, these are wasted, or at best, in the fridge with a 24 hour outdate.

Thoughts on this? Should we: a) just waste the tissue, B) try to validate some coolers for frozen tissue, c) look into thermometers to place in coolers? Currently, we have ice blocks, but no source of dry ice.

A couple issues that have been brought up - a monitored cooler, or validated cooler gives us no guarantee that the tissue has not been removed and partially thawed while in the OR. We have this problem with RBC's, and use the temp dots to let us know a product has been removed and warmed... I'm not aware of any method of monitoring the actual temperature of the tissue itself.

The OR staff say we should "just trust them..."

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We use Credo Cubes that keep them below 40C for close to 3 days using inserts that are stored in the -70C freezer. We "trust" our OR and haven't had reason to doubt them really. Wasting tissues that cost hundreds of dollars is kind of hard to swallow. They are usually allowed to be stored at warmer temperatures than -70C for something like 6 months but no one has ever answered for me whether they can be at that temp for several 6 month stretches or whether we would have to keep track of cumulative time at that temp. or what. Even the frozen tissue supplier didn't really give us a straight answer to the question. I believe there may now be data loggers that operate at those temperatures. We used to issue them in coolers with dry ice but sometimes the tissue would get off to the side and thaw so we had to waste it.

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