Cold storage, be it a fridge or a freezer, is the lifeline of most laboratories and pharmacies across the nation or the world.
The toll of an error, malfunction, or absence of cold storage in a lab can be far-reaching. It can lead to economic losses such as the loss of costly medicines to even forfeiture of career advancements through the loss of years of research.
This is not to mention the probable loss of lives or wellbeing due to administering wasted vaccines and medicines on top of CDC incompliance.
This makes the acquiring or replacement of the right cold storage for labs one of the most crucial functions in the operations of a lab.
Some of the factors that go into determining the type of fridge or freezer that a lab requires include:
Type of Samples Being Stored
The samples that labs and pharmacies deal with vary greatly; one lab may deal with vaccines from time to time while another lab may never handle a vaccine.
The samples that labs store go a long way in determining the type of cold storage the lab should acquire. These vary from the required temperature of the samples to even their flammability.
A freezer with a range of
-45 to -86 degrees Celsius
Used for drugs, viruses, bacteria, cell preparations, tissue samples, and long term storage
-30 to -45 degrees Celsius
Used in the storage of blood products, vaccines, biological samples
-20 to 30 degrees Celsius
Used to store enzymes and biological reagents
Moreover, samples that are flammable or explosive have to be stored in special types of fridges and freezers to reduce the chances of accidents.
When choosing a cold storage solution for your lab or pharmacy, energy requirements are a crucial factor that should play a significant role.
Even with previous technological advancements, these fridges and freezers still use a lot of energy and come with hefty energy bills.
A lab must ensure that the energy bills that come with their freezer fall into their budget or otherwise compromise on size, features, and temperature range for more energy efficiency.
Another crucial factor that comes into play when acquiring a cold storage solution is the temperature needs of your lab.
These come from various factors, including the samples that lab stores to even future plans and emergencies such as Covid and the Covid Vaccine. Does a lab plan on expanding next year? Might the lab get newer medicines or vaccines in the near future?
All these considerations go into play when acquiring medical cold storage.
Where a lab may end up storing your fridge or freezer also plays a big part in the type of fridge or freezer a lab will end up buying.
You may want a fridge that fits in a corner, fits under the counter (or above it), or one that is built into your lab. The location comes into play when choosing cold storage for your lab or pharmacy.
Storage Design/ Organization
The design of a lab's cold storage and the organization of samples plays a significant role in determining the cold storage that a lab may end up choosing.
A lab may require a horizontal fridge or freezer, a vertical one, or one with partitions depending on the organizational requirements of the samples the lab handles.
Features Your Cold Storage Should Have
The features that a cold storage area comes with are also something that labs should consider when acquiring fridges and freezers.
Some features are considered necessary, and it is advisable for labs to buy storage options with these features as standard.
Some features, on the other hand, are optional. They are acquired depending on the lab or pharmacy's needs and the relative significance of the samples they deal with.
Depending on the needs a lab, it may require or benefit from a fridge or freezer whose temperatures can be monitored remotely or wirelessly.
Audio and Visual Alert Systems
Having a fridge or freezer with both audio and visual alerts is advisable for all labs and pharmacies, whichever their needs are.
External Digital Thermometer
Having a storage option that has an external digital thermometer is advisable for most labs and pharmacies.
Types Of Medical Refrigerators
There are various categories and subcategories of storage options that cater to the various needs and requirements of labs and pharmacies across the nation. A lab has to explore the many types of lab freezers and their recommended use before settling for one.
The types of medical refrigerators that a lab is most likely to come across in its search for a cold storage option include:
Chromatography fridges are used mostly in research settings. These settings are demanding hence require storage options that are very precise and stable.
This type of fridge is used to store samples that are combustible, flammable, or explosive. It has no metal or electric parts on the inside to avoid sparks.
Blood Bank Fridges
These fridges are explicitly used to store large quantities of blood samples and closely related samples such as plasma and bone marrow.
Lab fridges and freezers are the most common storage options for labs and pharmacies. They can store a variety of samples and offer the size and practicality that meets the needs of most labs.
What Are The Types Of Cold Storage And Freezers?
There are various types of lab cold storage and freezers available for pharmacies and labs in the medical world. Each caters to different needs of labs and pharmacies. These include:
Undercounter Refrigerators And Freezers
Undercounter freezers are small and can fit into tight spaces within a lab or a pharmacy. They have many similarities with upright fridges, the only difference being that they utilize shelf space instead of floor space.
Upright Refrigerators And Freezers
Upright fridges and freezers are the most common cold storage option for labs and pharmacies. They are mostly vertical fridges and freezers with front doors that open outwards.
Upright refrigerators are sold with many configurations and features and can sometimes have both fridge and freezer compartments.
Chest freezers are one of the largest cold storage options for any pharmacy or lab. They are cube-like freezers that one accesses from the top.
Chest freezers have no compartments and can store a large number of samples that don't require precise organization or arrangement.
Low-temperature freezers can store samples that require temperatures of about -20 degrees Celsius. Low-temperature freezers are perfect low-cost freezers for labs and pharmacies that store medicines and samples that need moderately low temperatures.
The initial cost of a low-temperature freezer is relatively low, so is the maintenance cost and energy consumption relative to ultra-low temperature freezers.
Ultra-Low Temperature Freezers
Ultra-low temperature freezers offer extremely low temperatures that can range from -45 degrees Celsius to -86 degrees Celsius.
They are used by labs and pharmacies that store complex vaccines and samples that require storage at extremely low temperatures.
They have the highest energy consumption and come with more safety features than other fridges due to the relative importance of the samples they store.
How We Can Help
Here at American Bio Tech Supply, we have spent the last few decades developing and supplying labs and pharmacies across America. We offer reliable top of the line cold storage options and solutions.
We have experienced almost all the technological revolutions and improvements of the past decades, even creating some ourselves. Our experienced teams and employees plan to keep doing the same for ages to come.
For more information about cold storage solutions, fridges and freezers, contact us today and set the beginning of our partnership in motion.