There are over 20 million children globally who do not have access to the vaccines they need to be healthy by the time they reach their first birthday. Recent advancements in portable scientific refrigerators allow clinics to reach people in rural or remote parts of the world to give them life-saving inoculations. After you invest in your vaccine refrigerator freezer, be sure that you understand how to take care of your unit to give it the longest life possible. Here are four ways that you can keep your lab freezer working properly no matter where you are.
Understand Temperature Cycling
Refrigerators contain a compressor, which is an engine that powers the refrigeration cycle by moving the refrigerant through various heat exchange pipes. Vaccines are delicate, with refrigerated vaccines needing to be stored at about five degrees Celsius (40 degrees Fahrenheit) and frozen vaccines usually being stored at about -15 degrees Celsius (five degrees Fahrenheit). Therefore, it’s crucial that you understand how temperature may fluctuate in your vaccine refrigerator freezer. You’ll also need to know whether or not you’re using an auto or manual defrost lab freezer and take steps to defrost regularly if you’re using a manual model.
Keep it Clean
Some of the same principles that you’ve used to clean your at-home refrigerator apply to your medical refrigerator as well. Your vaccine refrigerator freezer can be cleaned with a squeeze bottle with warm water and mild soap after the contents have been removed and the unit has defrosted. Never chip at ice with a sharp object: you run the risk of damaging the unit. Be sure that vaccines are stored properly while you clean your unit as well.
While your scientific refrigerator is in use, make sure that all of your boxes are organized and labelled properly. Vaccines are delicate, so make sure that you move boxes carefully to prevent breaking and spillage. Of course, spilled vaccines should be cleaned up immediately and disposed of safely. Never use caustic, acidic cleaning products in your vaccine refrigerator freezer.
Understand the Refrigerator Controls
Your scientific refrigerator will have buzzers, alarms, and lights to alert you to to any changes in your unit. Debrief your team on how to identify these signs and keep a user’s manual on-hand to interpret these signals.
Know When you Need to Call a Repair Person
Your users manual will have steps to troubleshoot common problems, such as excessive noise or problems with temperature. Make sure your staff is trained to troubleshoot these issues, but also realize that more serious issues may require the support of a repair person. Talk to your vaccine refrigerator freezer manufacturer to see if they have a help line. If you’re going to be working in a remote or rural area, it is particularly important to have the tools and knowledge to repair your unit if any issues arise.
Vaccines prevent over two million unnecessary deaths each year, but the trend can only continue if vaccines are stored properly. Making sure that you are able to maintain your vaccine refrigerator freezer will ensure that your products stay in perfect condition to help the people who need them the most.