When should I use a probe for temperature validations?

Here are a few guidelines for validation with or without a probe, based on what you told us

With our daily giveaway contest of a Val-A-Sure Cooler Validation Kit at AABB, we had the opportunity to talk with many of you about the validation procedures in your blood banks. Hands down, the most frequently asked question was “when do I use temperature recorders with external temperature probes – and when should I use temperature recorders with built-in sensors?”  Our Advantage Kit is configured with both types, since our research showed us that it’s done both ways for a number of reasons.

When we conducted product development beta tests and interviews with your peers, we learned a lot.  Here are a few guidelines for validation with or without a probe, based on what you told us.

Using Built-In Sensor Temperature Recorders

  1. When temperature among, around or between the bags in the cooler are to be recorded
  2. When several points within the cooler need to be recorded
  3. Where the compactness of the built-in sensor makes it easier to fit into the cooler/space
  4. In a larger cooler with six or more bags and numerous areas within the cooler need to be recorded, such as near top, near bottom, sides and ends
  5. General monitoring of all sizes of refrigerators, freezers, and ovens

Using Temperature Recorders with Probes

  1. When core temperature of blood bags is to be recorded
  2. For larger coolers where specific, more pin-point locations need to be temperature-monitored
  3. General monitoring of all sizes of refrigerators, freezers, and ovens where the probe may or may not be in a liquid

The Val-A-Sure Advantage Kit is supplied with 2 TRIX-8 Recorders (built-in sensors) and 2 TREX-8 Recorders with Bag-Sealer Probes. For those of you who prefer different recorder configurations, the Custom Kit allows you to select exactly the type and quantity of temperature recorders that will work best for your needs.

The temperature recorders have a range of +85 to -40°C, and we’re learning that some labs are using them for validations beyond transport coolers.  Every recorder is supplied with calibration document identifying instruments used for calibration and their traceability to a NIST standard.

If you have any other guidelines or suggestions to share, please feel free to Comment on this post (below) and we’ll be sure to pass it on to your peers!

And don’t forget, we have validation procedure videos here on the William Labs website.

Val-A-Sure Cooler Validation Kit Overview & Introduction

The Val-A-Sure™ Cooler Validation Kit from William Labs (williamlabs.com) combines everything you need in one simple kit for temperature validation of blood transport coolers. All of the necessary components, instructions and documentation for validation are conveniently included in the kit, and have been tested to work together efficiently and accurately.Hands-on trials and feedback from blood banks and laboratories provided the guidance for the Val-A-Sure™ kit development. It delivers the simplicity, accuracy, standardization and speed of process that blood banks and labs told us that they need — in one integrated kit.

Recommended SOPs, temperature recorders and software provide options for an accurate validation process, regardless of your blood bank size. Using electronic recording equipment and following the SOPs, and using the supporting documentation, helps ensure consistent measurement and recording for each validation.

The DVD and documentation supplied with the kit contain:

– QuickStart Guide
– Easy-to-follow 3 minute video instructions of 3 different recommended validation procedures
– Validation SOPs (4 included)
– Validation Log Sheet
– Cooler Label format/template
– Validation Tips