Tag Archives: temperature monitoring

France’s national blood transfusion service, the Établissement Français de Sang (EFS) – interview with Dr Jean-Pierre Zappitelli

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Dr Jean-Pierre Zappitelli is a pharmacologist and biologist, who works as the senior manager of the Aix-en-Provence laboratory of France’s national blood transfusion service, the Établissement Français de Sang (EFS). He discusses his work within the context of managing the cold chain for blood products

How does the EFS laboratory in Aix-en-Provence fit in with the rest of the EFS and how would you describe your work?

The EFS is France’s sole operator of blood transfusions and its work covers the processing of donations of blood, plasma and platelets. The EFS is France’s safety guarantor of the blood transfusion chain, from donor to recipient. It supports the care of over 1 million patients per annum across France and its overseas territories via 132 fixed and some 40,000 mobile donation sites.

pic-1-esf-laboratories-in-alpes-mediterrarnee-regionThe EFS laboratory in Aix-en-Provence is a reception and distribution point of blood products that have been tested post-donation for pathogens and are ready to be used. In 2015, it processed 20,148 units of blood products (17,529 units of red blood cells; 1,148 units of platelets and 1,471 units of plasma) for the care of 3,759 patients.

I’m the Aix-en-Provence laboratory’s senior manager responsible for delivery and distribution of blood products. By “delivery”, we mean blood products for specific named patients, while by “distribution” we mean for unnamed patients, for instance for hospital stock top-ups.

My work involves ensuring firstly that all of the products we receive are safe to use; secondly that while these products are in the laboratory’s care, they are stored correctly; and lastly, that they are correctly labelled and packed when they leave the laboratory.

How does the Aix-en-Provence laboratory manage the cold chain for the blood products in its care?

This is achieved by maintaining and monitoring the temperature in various areas in the laboratory.

Firstly, the ambient temperature in the laboratory itself is maintained at 25°C. We do this because this is the recommended temperature for the products that are used to determine blood type. If for some reason, this temperature level of 25°C is breached, an alarm sounds and dealing with this issue becomes the primary task that is attended to.

pic-2-refrigerator-temperature-monitorSecondly, all units of blood products – platelets, red blood cells and plasma – are all kept in their own designated refrigerators. These all have a temperature indicator on their door, as well as an independent temperature monitor that is linked to an online map of all of the refrigerators in the laboratory, that is updated in real time with a full suite of data analytics.

The laboratory’s refrigerators have a safety feature whereby whenever one is opened and then closed, a magnet is activated and it cannot be opened for one minute in order to restore the correct ambient temperature within it.

Thirdly, all units of blood products come to the laboratory from regional stock in their own type of container with a “thermo-button” temperature data logger that has monitored the ambient temperature within every container we receive. These temperature data logger are checked using a sensor linked to a PC to ensure that the cold chain wasn’t broken prior to reception. (Some other laboratories in the region use RFID data loggers and for these, the crates don’t need to be opened for data monitoring downloads.)

pic-3-thermo-button-temperature-data-logger-and-sensorAlso, all the bags of products in a group of bags are attached together with a self-locking cable tie that can only be removed by cutting it with pliers.

For blood products that leave our laboratory or may be returned, we group these units of blood products with both a self-locking cable tie and a thermo-button temperature data logger.

Lastly, every group of blood product bags is labelled with a tag indicating source, destination, required temperature and a security notice around handling. Also, every bag of blood product has its own barcode allowing for full traceability.

The laboratory also needs to consider how deliveries of bags of blood products are managed and for this we use two systems: either refrigerated vehicles or isothermal padding.

For bags of red blood cells and platelets, plastic crates are used for transportation in refrigerated vehicles. The crates contain the appropriate type of ice-pack to ensure optimal temperature levels within the crates. Also, these let in the cooled refrigerated air within the vehicle to further ensure that the correct temperature is maintained within them.

For deliveries of bags of frozen plasma, air-tight isothermal crates with extra isothermal padding and its appropriate type of ice-pack. Also, all units of frozen plasma are protected with bubble wrap to avoid any breakages during transportation.

Lastly, all crates are labelled with information regarding source, destination, required temperature and a security notice around handling. Naturally, only authorised personnel can open a crate and this too is indicated on every crate.

How does the laboratory manage suspect items?

The main rule we work by is to eliminate all doubt around decision making about a product. Either it is objectively safe to use or it isn’t, and both of these scenarios are backed up by data, or a lack thereof.

pic-4-thermo-button-temperature-data-logger-readout-within-2c-and-6c-rangeUntil we can determine that a suspect unit of product is safe to use, it’s placed in a quarantine refrigerator until its safety has been 100% confirmed. If this can be done, it then is moved to the appropriate refrigerator. If this cannot be done, it’s disposed of by means of incineration.

Also, any such suspect product, which goes on to be disposed of, is fully documented to ensure full traceability.

In the lab, we make sure that the technicians who process the products we process are never in any doubt about what course of action they need to take.

Our safety systems are built to enable any of our processes to stop at any point. There’s simply no room for error. Patients’ lives are at stake.

What are the risks if the cold chain is broken (plus or minus)?

The risks associated with managing the cold chain for blood products underpins all our work.

If the cold chain for a bag of red blood cells is broken, say during transport, and its core temperature rises above 10°C, the risk is that the patient receives a transfusion that is infected by potentially harmful bacteria. And even with minute amounts of bacteria, at temperatures above 10°C bacterial reproduction can be considerable. For a healthy person, this needn’t necessarily be a problem, but for an already weakened sick patient, it can be extremely dangerous. And for temperatures below 2°C, the risk here is that ice crystals will form, thus impairing its oxygenation property.

Similarly, if platelets are stored or transported at temperatures below the specified limit, there is also an inefficiency risk. So if for example these are stored or transported at a temperature of 12°C instead of 24°C, the purpose of the transfusion (to replace platelets further to some chemotherapy therapy) will be adversely affected, which again poses a danger to the patient. And just like red blood cells stored or transported at a temperature above 24°C, the risk is bacterial reproduction is very high.

pic-5-bag-of-frozen-plasma-1For plasma, the risk when the cold chain is breached is that the product will be altered very rapidly. Plasma is an extremely fragile product that must be used within six hours of being unfrozen.

The final risk around managing the cold chain for blood products is around the labelling of each item. This is why we use various identification tools, including unique barcodes on every bag of blood product. During transport for instance, correct labelling ensures the timely and correct delivery of blood products.

When this doesn’t happen, stocks of blood products could be either delivered to the wrong destination, or arrive late, leading to patients not benefiting from them when they need them or a hospital’s stocks running low, or worse running out, which again puts patients at risk. Furthermore, incorrect labelling inevitably leads to unnecessary wastage to eliminate any chance of putting a patient at risk with a potentially unsound product.

Managing these risks is why for every unit of blood product, there has to be absolute certainty regarding where it’s come from and what its destination is. There’s no room for any grey areas in our work. We only work with 100% certainty around the safety protocols for the blood products we process.

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RS Components introduces Timestrip indicators for convenient asset monitoring and maintenance

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Smart chemistry provides accurate, intuitive, at-a-glance time or time/temperature alerts in a convenient single-use label

OXFORD, UK, July, 2015 RS Components (RS), the trading brand of Electrocomponents plc (LSE:ECM), the global distributor for engineers, has introduced Timestrip time lapse indicators which are visual reminders for timely replacement or servicing and Timestrip PLUS temperature-threshold indicators, which enable convenient and cost-effective monitoring of temperature sensitive perishables.

Patent protected Timestrip time lapse indicators are activated with finger pressure and fixed like a label to the item being monitored. A red colour moves irreversibly against a scale to reach the end when the specified duration expires. 1, 3, 6, and 12-month versions are available, accurate to within ±15% (when used at room temperature), making them ideal for numerous professional and domestic applications. These include simple visual reminders to replace filters or other components in accordance with manufacturer-recommended cycles, or to perform regular maintenance such as heater descaling, inspection of electrical appliances, or servicing of industrial equipment.

Timestrip PLUS temperature-threshold indicators irreversibly show the length of time an item has been exposed above a pre-set temperature threshold. They are ideal for verifying compliance with regulated standards and are used widely for monitoring products whose quality or fitness for use is affected by excess temperature such as pharmaceuticals, perishables such as foodstuffs, and industrial or laboratory chemicals.  Temperature and time indications are accurate to within ±1°C and ±15% respectively.  They are inert until activated and each unit has a unique serial code, which helps manage large numbers of assets. Thresholds of 8C, 10C, 25C and 30C are available.

Compared to alternatives such as written maintenance sheets or electronic reminders, Timestrip indicators are direct, intuitive, and provide an instantaneous at-a-glance indication when action is due or if storage conditions have been breached. They are splashproof, can be stored unused at room temperature, and can be self-affixed to individual products or on packs or pallets.  These compelling and cost-effective indicators support efforts to maximise product quality or improve the performance and reliability of a wide range of equipment, resulting in better end-user experiences.

-Ends-

About RS Components

RS Components and Allied Electronics are the trading brands of Electrocomponents plc, the global distributor for engineers. With operations in 32 countries, we offer more than 500,000 products through the internet, catalogues and at trade counters to over one million customers, shipping around 44,000 parcels a day. Our products, sourced from 2,500 leading suppliers, include electronic components, electrical, automation and control, and test and measurement equipment, and engineering tools and consumables.

Electrocomponents is listed on the London Stock Exchange and in the last financial year ended 31 March 2015 had revenues of £1.27bn.

For more information, please visit the website at www.rs-online.com.

Editorial Contacts:                                                            

Lisa Townsend

PR Manager – EMEA

RS Components

lisa.townsend@rs-components.com

+44 (0)1536 209026

Joanne Youson
Product Marketing PR Manager
RS Components
joanne.youson@rs-components.com
+44 (0) 1536 405752

PR Agency Contact:

Janice Fenton

Account Director

Publitek Technology PR

janice.fenton@publitek.com

+44 (0) 1225 470000

Further information is available via these links:

Twitter: @RSComponents; @alliedelec; @designsparkRS

RS Components on Linkedin

http://www.linkedin.com/company/rs-components

 

Relevant Links:

Electrocomponents plc

www.electrocomponents.com

RS Components

www.rs-online.com

DesignSpark

http://www.designspark.com

 

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Cold Chain logistics – Nimble Wireless

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Nimble Wireless have created an excellent info graphic on why temperature monitoring is important for Cold Chain logistics.

coldchain temperature monitoring

Thanks to Nimble Wireless for the item:

http://nimblewireless.com

USA

Nimble Wireless Inc.
1220 Corte Zafiro,
San Marcos, CA- 92069,
USA

Businessnimble-usa@nimblewireless.com

Contact Numbers:

Office: +1 858 935 7381
Fax : +1 858 201 6305

INDIA

Nimble Wireless (Pvt) Ltd.

12B, 1st floor, (Near HDFC bank)
Dhanalakshmi Street, Janaki Nagar,
Valasarawakkam, Chennai – 600 087.

Businessnimble-india@nimblewireless.com

Contact Numbers:

Office: +91-44-42656219
Mobile: +91-73054-11116

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MMD Shipping take a fresh look at the Saveris temperature and humidity monitoring system

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If you are eating some nice fresh fruit such as a banana, pineapple, apple or a citrus variety then the chances are it was imported in to this country by MMD Shipping in Portsmouth – and the quality and freshness of the product has been significantly maintained by the newly installed Testo Saveris wireless temperature and humidity monitoring system.

The sheer scale of the MMD Montage MergedMMD operation is truly impressive, utilising approximately 700,000 pallets per annum. Some 70% of all UK banana imports alone are handled by the company operating five dedicated warehouses where the different fruits are taken directly from the ships at the quayside. Previously the company had relied on a combination of conventional thermometers and visual checks whilst using the massive doors as a cooling method in their own right. However, this system didn’t allow for ongoing accurate written records of the air quality. Maintenance Manager David Simpson instigated a thorough assessment of specialist systems on the market and having visited Testo at Alton for a demonstration of the Saveris system and the calibration facilities realised that this would be the ideal solution for his needs. The system comprises of a quickly installed base unit which controls multiple wireless probes with a range of up to 300 metres positioned throughout the complex and linked to the Ethernet via adjacent converters which are not affected by other radio waves. Where structural conditions may interfere then routers maintain the signal.

To indicate the scope of the base unit – which is connected to a PC – it can incorporate up to 150 probes or over 250 measurement channels and can save typically a year’s worth of data with its built in memory. In actual performance terms Mr Simpson is very pleased with the investment “The Testo technology means that I can watch over the whole operation from my desk and ensure that absolute varied conditions can be constantly and accurately maintained to meet individual product requirements which range from 0 to +20 degrees. Where we reach a critical measurement value at any moment then the automatic alarm system alerts me. The data recording benefit has proved to be of great value for example where a fruit producer has had a deterioration situation along the route to market. We will certainly be turning to Testo when our new storage building is completed and the overall system contributes significantly to our quality control and business image”.

Testo_logo

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