VUEPOINT is a series of articles and discussions specifically for blood bankers. Many of them represent follow-up lab and technical work that we perform based on your input and reactions. Our goal is to bring you important information in a way that is easy to understand, quick to access and helpful in your work. Please feel free to email me with any question, comments or suggestions, or post your COMMENT at the end of this VUEPOINT.
You already know that irreversible blood temperature indicators help ensure that the blood products you dispense stay within the appropriate temperature range. This can ultimately save money by reducing blood wastage, while also maintaining quality control.
The problem? Not all indicators on the market are created equal. The ones that require conditioning in some way don’t always meet the needs of today’s busy, fast-paced blood banks. Those I’ve spoken with say that ease-of-use is as high a priority as accuracy and reliability. That’s what Safe-T-Vue delivers.
Once our indicators are stored with your blood for 24 hours, the Safe-T-Vue 6 and Safe-T-Vue 10 do not need any conditioning. I’m often asked if the indicator needs to be heated prior to use or if it needs to go back into the refrigerator prior to use once it’s been applied to a blood bag. The answer to both these questions is no.
Safe-T-Vue indicators need only be stored in the refrigerator along with Red Blood Cells (RBCs). When RBCs are needed, a staff member simply removes an indicator and blood bag from the refrigerator and places the Safe-T-Vue on the blood bag.
It’s easily activated by folding over the “rounds” and snapping them together.
Other indicators on the market say they require “no conditioning” – but that’s simply not the case. One in particular has to be heated to a specified temperature for 60 seconds prior to activation. Another maps out “best practices,” which recommend putting the blood bag back into the refrigerator for 15 minutes once the indicator has been activated. The problem here is that the activation process can be delicate in the former example – and waiting for blood as in the latter, even for just 15 minutes, is very often not an option.
Here’s how it all breaks down.
To save even more time, inactivated Safe-T-Vue indicators can be adhered to blood bags as they are received – then put back into the refrigerator until needed for quick dispensing. You can then simply activate the indicator when blood product is requisitioned. And once activated, Safe-T-Vue indicators are good for 42 days compared to the other indicators that must come off the blood bag after each reissue. This makes the Safe-T-Vue the only indicator that can be reissued multiple times on the same unit of blood.
If you have questions about how Safe-T-Vue works – and how it can save you valuable time compared to others on the market, please contact us. We’d also be happy to send you some Safe-T-Vue samples so you can see for yourself how easy they are to use.