How does effective blood bag temperature monitoring work?
Life-Guard temperature indicators are specifically designed to close the cold chain cycle by permanently monitoring blood bag temperature. They can be applied on warm and cooled blood bags. Non-activated Life-Guard indicators are yellow.
A special UV-C light source ensures easy, quick and contactless activation of the indicators and turns them blue. Once activated, the indicators start monitoring the temperature. As soon as a critical temperature limit is exceeded, the indicators irreversibly turn orange. If the indicators stay blue, blood can be returned to storage and reused. Surplus blood products only need to be discarded if the indicators have changed in colour.
How sustainable is the cold chain cycle in the blood bank?
Closing the cycle of the cold chain blood bag supply makes it possible to use blood which is otherwise is discarded: only if the cold chain is fully intact and the blood temperature has never exceeded a critical level, blood bags can be returned if there is a surplus to requirements. However, the temperature must be constantly monitored to ensure the blood products and their recipients are safe.
Ongoing monitoring of blood temperature—from storage to distribution and back again—ensures that quality levels are not compromised. It guarantees that every blood donation is used carefully and not one needs to be discarded if not transfused. This is a solution every blood bank should seriously consider in times of severe blood shortages.
1 ISBT Science Series (2020) 15, 232–254 © 2020 The Author. Journal Compilation © 2020 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. DOI: 10.1111/voxs.12599 ISBT Science Series, Section 12: Blood storage and transportation