Blood Bank Refrigerators: The Importance of Preservation
Blood Bank Refrigerators: The Importance of Preservation

In the event of local or regional natural disasters, public safety responders and healthcare facilities are often short of one very crucial resource when it’s needed in great quantity.

It’s not money, food or volunteers. It’s blood.

Every two seconds of every day, someone will need blood and it’s not just accident victims who do. In fact, the people who routinely need blood the most include those who are:

  • Being treated for cancer
  • Undergoing surgeries
  • Being treated for inherited blood disorders.

Blood is a resource that cannot be manufactured outside the body and possesses a limited shelf life. Yet one pint of blood, can save three lives. Supply must be consistently replenished by donors as demand far outstrips supply at times.

Every drop of blood is critical and it’s important to not only safeguard against surges in demand but also have supply available for very rare types of blood like AB negative and B negative.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) and other regulatory bodies have set stringent guidelines for the preservation and storage of blood and blood products.

A crucial piece of equipment to assist in preserving blood is called a blood bank refrigerator.

What Are Blood Bank Refrigerators?

Standards for blood storage have evolved with medical and technological advances.

Most donated blood is collected as whole blood (WB), or venous blood that has been separated via centrifugation into different components, such as red blood cells, plasma, cryoprecipitated antihaemophilic factor (AHF), and platelets. One unit of whole blood, after separation, may be transfused to several patients requiring different blood components.

Each of these components have their own storage temperature and expiration requirements, such as whole blood which must be stored between temperatures of +2°C to 6°C, for a maximum permitted period of 35 to 42 days. Because of such requirements, specialised refrigeration equipment is needed for storage.

Blood bank refrigerators are used to store biomedical supplies like blood products such as whole blood, blood components and plasma derivatives at controlled temperatures. They are essential for maintaining the safety of blood according to regulations set by the FDA and other regulatory bodies.

Unlike their domestic counterparts, blood bank refrigerators include a number of specialised features:

  1. High quality cabinet construction, with heavy walled, CFC-free insulation which helps to minimize energy use and ensure temperature stability.  
  2. Time and temperature sensitive auto-defrost cycles, with automatic condensate removal to minimize equipment downtime.
  3. Stainless steel roll-out drawers and insulated, self-closing glass doors allow users to easily view and access product inside of the refrigerator as well as prevent temperature excursions from doors left open accidentally.
  4. Doors can be locked in order to control access, thereby limiting the chances of contamination and waste.
  5. Directed and monitored forced-air circulation helps enhance temperature stability at all points in the cabinet and ensures quick temperature recovery after door openings.
  6. At least 2 temperature sensors or probes at multiple points provide cabinet temperature data for compliance with blood banking standards. Built-in or freestanding chart recorders are provided for logging and monitoring of temperature data.
  7. Visual and audible alarm alerts allow tracking of events such as open doors, temperature deviations, and power failures. Audible alarms also come with battery backup capability to ensure full alarm functionality in the event of a power failure.

ETS BLOOD BANK REFRIGERATORS

Our MBR series of Blood Bank Refrigerators incorporates the latest in cabinet, refrigeration, temperature control and alarm monitoring features and is designed to provide convenient, safe and reliable performance for optimal storage temperature environments necessary for a wide range of life science, laboratory, pharmacy, biological, medical, clinical and industrial applications.

Drop us a line if you have questions.

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Extend The Life Of Your ULT Freezer
Extend The Life Of Your ULT Freezer

Ultra Low Temperature (ULT) freezers are an essential part of laboratories worldwide. Used to store precious biological samples, including bacteria, virus, blood, enzymes and vaccines, these specialist freezers cover a range of industries such as blood banks, hospitals, epidemic prevention services, research institutes, laboratories in electronic and chemical plants, biological engineering institutes and marine fishery companies.

Operating at between -60°C to -86° C, ULT freezers do one thing well – keep samples ultra-cold.  They are reliable units and have an average lifespan of 12-15 years with proper care and maintenance to keep them running optimally.

Despite that, there are things that you can do to extend the life of your ULT freezer beyond the average. These simple routines make it possible to detect and correct any potential issues in a timely and efficient manner and also save you a few thousand dollars in repair fees.

1. Minimize Ice and Frost Build-Up

Defrosting is important to help maintain the efficiency of your ULT freezer, preserve the viability of samples and research, and lower energy costs.

Although there’s no industry-standard rule on ULT freezers’ defrosting frequency, it’s commonly accepted that a defrost must be done at least once yearly. Some experts even recommend that the ULT freezer should be fully defrosted twice a year.

The proper defrost frequency for your ULT freezer will depend on the condition of the freezer itself, the usage frequency (e.g. door opening, how long it’s left open each time, etc. ), and the operation environment.

ULT freezers build up frost and ice every time there is humidity, when water vapor contacts the extremely low temperature interior surfaces. Therefore, the location where frost accumulates indicates whether it is timely for a manual defrost.

If frost is noticed on the outside of internal doors or compartments used for sample storage, it may not be necessary to defrost as often. It may be necessary to defrost more often if frost builds up in the cabinet close to samples instead. This is key since the frost buildup would influence the amount of heat absorbed by the system and affect performance.

Frost accumulation makes it more difficult for the freezer to maintain ultralow temperatures. The buildup of frost may stop the inner door from closing, worse, if the severe frost turns to ice, even the outer door.

When the environment the freezer is in is also dusty, then frost coupled with heavy dust will stress the freezer’s filters, making it more challenging to maintain the cold temperature. The pressure on the compressors along with a longer operating time would lead to a reduced freezer life while energy consumption increases.

Other situations that may call for a full defrost include when frost buildup interferes with door opening. The frost builds up too close to door gaskets, causing stress and preventing an appropriate seal.

Secondly, if frost builds up on racks and accessories during normal operations to the point they prevent access, then it would inhibit staff from accessing samples, leading to further situations where the door is left open longer.

Defrosting involves a multi-step and manual process over a few days. All the samples in the freezer need to be transferred to another one, which is limited by small batches in order to avoid huge temperature fluctuations when the door is kept open a longer time.

Once it has been cleared of samples, turn the freezer off, turn off power, open the door and let the ice melt. Ensure that the ice melt runoff is cleaned up to avoid any unforeseen events.

It should take the freezer several hours to completely melt the ice. Clean up all the moisture inside and outside the freezer before plugging the freezer back in. The freezer would take up to 12 hours to cool down again depending on age and make. Once it’s sufficiently cooled down again, transfer samples back into the original freezer by batches.

2. Keep the Condenser Clean

The condenser plays an important role in ULT storage. In order to keep the ULT freezer cold, it helps transfer heat from the inside to the outside.

Dust accumulation on the condenser can compromise its performance, making it unable to transfer heat out. Although freezers should be kept in a temperature-regulated and clean space, oftentimes the facility is a high-traffic area with open windows and doorways.

Experts recommend cleaning the condenser coil at least once a year, and cleaning the condenser filters every two to three months, and with more frequency if the environment is particularly dusty. Doing so will help extend the life of your freezer.

Condenser filters may be used over and over and don’t need to be replaced. Simply dust and clean with a wet towel, vacuum or brush.

Condenser filters are easily accessible and can be used over and over. Therefore, they do not need to be replaced. The filter can be easily dusted and cleaned with a wet towel, vacuum, or brush.

3. No Warm Samples

ULT freezers are primarily used for storing and preserving already frozen products. While other high quality freezers may withstand being loaded with warm products, traditional ULT freezers will eventually break down if they often experience such treatment.

The best method to maintain a ULT freezer is to load the chamber to nearly 25 percent full with free-frozen products and avoid putting warm products into them. If there is product that needs to be cooled quickly, it is best to use a blast freezer instead of a ULT freezer. Frequently using a ULT freezer to rapidly cool warm products may cause the freezer to fail mechanically much faster.

ULT freezers perform best when door openings are kept to a minimum so that airflow is not interrupted.

Additionally, materials should not be stored on top of the freezer as these can trap warm air and trigger the compressor to work harder to maintain temperature. Not only does this generate higher energy costs but will also lessen the lifetime of the compressor.

4. Understand Your Freezer Alarms

ULT freezers often come with alarms that indicate a variety of sub-optimal operating conditions such as high temperature, power failure, low battery life, prolonged door opening and system monitoring failure.

Know your freezer alarms well so that swift remedial action can be taken in the case that situations occur and operator input is required. Label each freezer clearly with the details of the point of contact and back-up contact and always have spare ULT freezer space available in case samples need to be transferred to an alternative unit.

Batteries on freezer alarms power the display and buzzer. These should be checked by a certified technician annually and changed as per the recommended schedule from the manufacturer.

There are a wide range of ULT freezers in the market, but all of them share a common need – they require care and attention to keep them performing well. Practicing some simple preventive maintenance steps will ensure your ULT freezer’s lifetime is maximised as well as ensuring your precious sample material remains at optimal longevity.

LOOKING FOR AN ULTRA LOW TEMPERATURE FREEZER?

We have an entire range of Ultra Low Temperature freezers to suit various requirements. Choose between our ULT Upright Freezers or ULT Chest Freezers.

Drop us a line if you have questions.

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Cold Box with Digital Thermometer
Cold Box with Digital Thermometer

In line with the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, we are announcing our new offering, a Cold Box with Digital Thermometer!

ETS is proud to support the Malaysian Government in the rollout of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) which targets having 80% of adult Malaysians vaccinated as soon as possible.

Private hospitals and private general practitioners (GPs) are involved in Phase Two and Phase Three of the PICK to serve as vaccination centres and will assist in maximising the public’s access for vaccination.

There are 203 private hospitals and around 7,000 GPs across Malaysia. As of April 2021, 2,304 GPs had already registered to participate as vaccinators for PICK.

Our latest offering is in line with the registration of private hospitals and GPs for the PICK.

Weighing in at a lightweight 2kg, the Cold Box has a capacity of 10 to 12 litres and comes equipped with a Digital Thermometer.

There’s no need to wait to measure the temperature inside the box, the digital thermometer provides an easily-accessible readout at any time. This simplifies the temperature monitoring process and ensures precious vaccines or medications stay within the optimum temperature range.

We provide a free ice pack compatible with the cold box. These help to keep the contents of your box cold for a longer period! The bundle also includes a data logger that can be connected to a PC via USB for saving and printout of accurate temperature surveillance data.

And lastly, to ensure that the cold box digital thermometer and data logger are properly calibrated, each item comes with a complimentary temperature calibration certificate.

Click here to download the product specification for the Cold Box with Digital Thermometer.

Click here to view our product catalogue or learn more about our Pharmaceutical grade Refrigerators & Freezers & Digital Thermometers & Data Loggers.

As an ISO 13486 Quality Management System for Medical Devices and GDPMD certified company, we have over 28 years of experience in the design, manufacturing, and development of medical blood bank refrigerators, pharmaceutical grade refrigerators and freezers, and vaccine ice-lined storage units, as well as medical services solutions, especially for cold-chain logistics and after-sales service and repair, loaner units and OEM services.

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ETS Develops 1st Side Open Mortuary Refrigerator in Malaysia!
ETS Develops 1st Side Open Mortuary Refrigerator in Malaysia!

Yet again, ETS is making waves! We have developed the 1st Side Open Mortuary Refrigerator in Malaysia!

Going from success to success, we have consistently moved forward with our innovations in pharmaceutical and laboratory freezers and refrigerators.

We now bring you our latest model, MOT 2B (SO) which is a side-open mortuary refrigerator designed with 2 individual chambers. The refrigerator runs at a temperature range of +2°C to +8°C, chambers come with individual doors, LED lighting and door locks, and equipped with 6 heavy duty castors for easy moving of the unit.

As always, our mortuary refrigerators come with the latest standard features, including a standard LED alarm system with visual and audible alarm alerts, electronic control panel, CFC free insulation and refrigerant, sealed-type compressor with gas aspiration cooling, complete with total protection motor, and stainless steel internal and external chambers. They’re also compliant to safety features and certifications under IEC 61010-1, IEC 17025, ISO 13485 and GDPMD.

Click here to download the product specification for the MOT 2B (SO) model.

Check out the rest of our Mortuary Refrigerators and Accessories.

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ETS Releases Large Capacity Blast Refrigerator 1st In Malaysia
ETS Releases Large Capacity Blast Refrigerator 1st In Malaysia

Today, we have a new 1st in Malaysia to announce, our Large Capacity Blast Refrigerator with adjustable temperature between +2°C to -40°C/-75°C!

At ETS, our continuous innovation has seen us go from success to success. Our range of blast freezers are the first in Malaysia to achieve a temperature range of -10°C to -80°C, bringing down ambient temperatures of +25°C to a freezing -60°C within 40 minutes. We have a range of models available in varying capacities to suit the various requirements of the medical, laboratory and food industry.

Our latest model, VC 45B-2100 (F) comes with a 2,100L capacity and is part of our lineup of large capacity blast refrigerators with adjustable temperature range, the first ever to be made in Malaysia! The temperature can be adjusted between +2°C to -40°C or -75°C and has a pull down rate of around 20 minutes from ambient temperatures to -40°C.

As always, our refrigerators come with the latest standard features, including LED temperature controls, auto switch off timers, visual and audible alarm alerts, and stainless steel internal and external chambers. They’re also compliant to safety features and certifications under IEC 60601, Electrical Safety, ISO 13485 and GDPMD.

Click here to download the product specification for the VC 45B-2100 (F) model.

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7-Point Guide to Buying a New Cold Storage Unit
7-Point Guide to Buying a New Cold Storage Unit

If you’re starting the search for your next cold storage unit in your facility, whether it’s a medical laboratory, a research facility or a central kitchen, have you ever thought about what you need to know before you make the decision to buy?

There are so many products on the market today to fit the needs of different industries that require cold storage that makes the search for the next cold storage unit become even more time consuming than ever. To make things a little easier, we put together a 7-point guide to help you ascertain which refrigerator or freezer unit would best suit your needs.

To read the full article, please complete the following:











     

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    1st -80°C Forced Air Blast Freezer in Malaysia Released!
    1st -80°C Forced Air Blast Freezer in Malaysia Released!

    Announcing our latest product, the 1st -80°C Forced-Air Blast Freezer in Malaysia!

    From 2018, we started to develop a range of blast freezers with a temperature range of -10°C to -75°C. Our continued innovation has resulted in a range of models with varying capacities to suit various requirements of the medical, laboratory and food industries.

    The VF 80B-500 is a 500L capacity blast freezer that is the latest addition to our range of blast freezers and brings the height of our blast freezing capabilities to -10°C to -80°C for the first time! Going from an ambient temperature of +25°C to a freezing -60°C was achieved within 40 minutes.

    Engaged with the latest standard features of our freezers, it comes with intuitive touch control panels, visual and audible alarm alerts, easy to remove shelf supports for simple cleaning and maintenance, and stainless steel internal and external chambers. All of our freezers are compliant to safety features and certifications under IEC 60601, Electrical Safety, ISO 13485 and GDPMD.

    Click here for more information on the VF 80B-500 model.

     

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    Latest Arrival from Medilox
    Latest Arrival from Medilox
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    New Products from BioAir
    New Products from BioAir
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    ETS Repair & Maintenance Service
    ETS Repair & Maintenance Service
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    About ETS

    ETS Bio Freeze Sdn Bhd is a high-tech company with over 28 years of experience in the design, manufacturing, and development of medical blood bank refrigerators, pharmaceutical grade refrigerators and freezers, and vaccine ice-lined storage units. We also provide a number of solutions, especially for cold-chain logistics and after-sales service and repair, loaner units and OEM services.
    About ETS

    Our Services

    Our Company offers products and accessories for medical and pharmaceutical grade refrigerators and freezers, solutions for cold-chain logistics and after-sales services and repair, as well as OEM and loaner unit services.
    ETS Range

    ETS Range

    Our ETS range of Medical and Pharmaceutical Refrigerators and Freezers are designed and fabricated to meet the demanding requirements of scientific and laboratory applications.
    Imported Range

    Imported Range

    We offer a range of imported Medical and Pharmaceutical Refrigerators and Freezers, microbiological safety cabinets, accessories and spare parts from various well-known brands.
    Loaner Unit

    Loaner Unit

    We have a variety of loaner units in a wide variety of storage capacities to best fit your needs.
    Accessories

    Accessories

    We can provide sales, installation and service of alarm monitoring systems, digital thermometers and data logging systems, and temperature chart recorders.
    Cold-Chain Logistics Solutions

    Cold-Chain Logistics Solutions

    We offer a temperature-controlled supply chain solution to preserve and extend the shelf life of your products before they arrive at your premises.  
    After-Sales Service and Repair Solutions

    After-Sales Service and Repair Solutions

    We offer after-sales service and repair solutions including Electric Safety Test, Planned & Preventive Maintenance, Temperature Calibration and OEM Services.  

    Resource Centre

    Download a range of brochures or flyers about our products and solutions here.

    Our Blog

    Read the latest updates and news from ETS in our blog.
    Debunking Medical-grade Refrigeration
    01 Sep
    Debunking Medical-grade Refrigeration
    In pharmacies, hospitals, and laboratories, cold storage is paramount in the storage of temperature-sensitive medicatio... Read More...
    Blood Bank Refrigerators: The Importance of Preservation
    16 Jul
    Blood Bank Refrigerators: The Importance of Preservation
    In the event of local or regional natural disasters, public safety responders and healthcare facilities are often shor... Read More...
    Extend The Life Of Your ULT Freezer
    01 Jul
    Extend The Life Of Your ULT Freezer
    Ultra Low Temperature (ULT) freezers are an essential part of laboratories worldwide. Used to store precious biological... Read More...
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