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Purpose Built Refrigeration

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A fridge that stores medicines and vaccines needs to be exceptionally reliable in order to avoid wasted stock, which can be incredibly expensive. The temperature of these medical storage spaces must not deviate from the recommended minimum or maximum. If this occurs, stock will have to be dumped and possibly a new fridge ordered, meaning waiting time without proper refrigeration.

If the worst does happen, professionals can refer to a database of information at UK Medicines Information (UKMi) that is both published and unpublished from manufacturers, which lists medicines and vaccines that must be refrigerated. Medical professionals, pharmacists etc and those responsible for the storage of medicines can use this password protected online tool to discover which items of stock can be saved and which should be disposed of.

Products can become too warm or even freeze, and may have degraded to an unacceptable level in varying periods of time. In the event of a fridge breakdown, all contents should be quarantined, and inspected individually. Any that are potentially unsafe have to be disposed of in the appropriate manner. Don’t forget to log this kind of incident, along with your actions and outcomes.

To remain stable and guarantee effectiveness, medicines that need to be stored at 20C to 80C have to be kept constantly cold with no fluctuations. GPhC standards require regular monitoring and recording of the maximum and minimum temperatures of purpose built pharmaceutical fridges. Normal domestic fridges are inadequate for this type of specialist storage, as they are unable to retain the uniform temperatures needed.

Purpose built refrigeration has a temperature gauge which is calibrated, can be read from outside and is accurate to 0.50C. Most are lockable, and consist of an audio or visual alarm designed to alert staff in the event of a deviation in temperature.

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