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A 101 Guide to Buying a Medical Refrigerator

Pharmacy ABS Refrigeration Group

How to Choose the Best Medical Refrigerator

Looking for a medical refrigerator? You’re not alone. Refrigerators are used in most clinical settings. From storing vaccines to blood samples, medical grade refrigerators have an essential role to play. The wrong kind of refrigerator can result in spoiled substances and huge financial losses. This article will eliminate the guesswork and highlight exactly what you need to consider when purchasing a medical fridge.


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Check out our ABS Fast-Track Guide that ships premium medical refrigerators in 5-8 business days. But for now, read on.  



Start with Features

First, examine the features of each potential medical refrigerator. Ask yourself what would work best for your everyday needs. Not sure where to start? Consider the features below:


Temperature Control

Investigate the temperature controller in each prospective unit. Premium medical refrigerators should come with a microprocessor temperature control system. Microprocessors are highly preferred over other options because of their uniform temperature regulation and precise digital control. This is especially important when dealing with vaccines and medications.



What space do you have available? If your setting is cramped, consider an undercounter or countertop design. If you have a large healthcare facility and need vast amounts of storage, consider spacious, multi-door designs. 


Shelving and Storage

Open each prospective refrigerator and look at the shelving and storage space inside. Considering your application will help you determine what internal storage layout best suits your needs. Pull out basket drawers are helpful for organization and give easy access to medications.


Locks and Alarms

Check for a security system or keyed door locks. These measures prevent unauthorized personnel from accessing the refrigerator and its contents. Also check to see if the refrigerator has integrated temperature alarms. These alarms alert you when temperatures rise or fall outside programed settings. A great safeguard, especially when dealing with pharmaceutical substances.


Air Circulation

Investigate the unit’s air circulation system. Forced draft air circulation is recommended for its effective circulation of cool air, ensuring uniform cooling throughout. This helps prevent uneven temperature pockets that could damage stored contents. A forced draft air circulation system also prevents large temperature swings every time the door is opened.



Consider your application and what substances your refrigerator will store. Do you store vaccines? Medicine? Samples? Different materials have different required temperature ranges for safe storage. Thermal probes in glycol bottles are provided within some refrigerators to keep track of internal temperature fluctuations. Vaccines are particularly sensitive. Be sure to store vaccines in accord with the guidelines established by the CDC.



When making any purchase, consider your budget. The pricing of medical refrigerators is influenced by many factors including size, temperature control systems, certifications, and more. Look for a unit that contains your desired features but is not excessive in additions you don’t need. This should lead you to a refrigerator and a price point that you’re happy with.



Adhere to Regulations

The CDC lays down stringent guidelines for medical equipment and storage. Vaccine storage regulations are particularly rigorous. The NSF/ANSI 456 Vaccine Storage Standard is the benchmark for the highest vaccine protection. While this standard is not currently mandatory, times are changing. Some local and state policies are now requiring vaccine-specific refrigeration, enforcing an extra layer of protection. Be sure to check policy guidelines in your area.

Medical equipment guidelines monitor temperature requirements, cooling mechanisms, power sources, and more. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in spoiled materials, risk to patients, and hefty financial losses. Not good. So take care to choose a refrigerator that follows regulatory guidelines.



Wrapping Up

By now you should have a solid foundation on what to look for when buying a medical refrigerator. Take these principles with you in your quest. ABS supplies CDC-compliant medical refrigeration for ultimate accuracy and efficiency.


The Fast-Track Guide will make the process even smoother by shipping your refrigerator to you in 5-8 business days. Explore today. ABS | American Biotech Supply


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