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CSP0102

Infrared Thermometers

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Does anyone use Infrared thermometers for checking the temp of a unit of blood when returned to the Blood Bank?  If so what are the pros and cons and what brand do you use?

Thanks for your help.  We are struggling with how to handle returned units.  Currently we are using a 30 min rule and a Safe-T-Vue 10.  Our SOP states that if the unit comes back in under 30 min we return it to inventory even if the Safe-T-Vue is red. I struggle with this since we don't know what happened to that unit while it was out of the Blood Bank and the manufacturer states not to inventory it. Our units are sent out with a gel cold pack so 30 min is not unreasonable but I don't see putting it in inventory if the Safe-T-Vue is red.  HELP

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I was told that unless a time out of the Blood Bank has been validated, we can't use time as an indicator of whether or not a unit is acceptable for re-issue. Only temperature can be used. If the unit is being transported within the facility, this is still considered "storage" and the upper level allowable would be 6 degrees, not 10 degrees. We attach Hemo-temps (switching to Safe-T-Vue 6 once validated) to the units as well as checking the temp when it returns. The indicator is necessary because if the transfusionist left the blood sitting out, it could have reached an acceptable temperature again once it has been on the cold pack a while. For units not sent on cold packs, we use a Traceable Mini IR Thermometer by MarketLab that is ISO calibrated that has been really reliable. I don't recall them being super expensive either.

How on earth did they condone returning units to inventory when the indicator had turned red!?! Inspectors haven't noticed this? My question would be: to what use is the indicator being used if it is being ignored?  

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We only accept returned RBC's if the temperature is acceptable. We take the temperature using an infrared thermometer (which we found to read about 2C warmer than the actual internal temperature of the unit). 

 

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