One thing a practice has to consider when buying a refrigerator for vaccine storage is that any old one will not do. Gone are the days of using a partner's cast-off from home and keeping the treatment room nurse's sandwiches fresh in it. The humble fridge is yet another device that has to meet specific requirements in this world of rules, regulations and standards. So which one should you choose?
LABCOLD PORTABLE VACCINE REFRIGERATOR
Reviewed by Dr Raj Thakkar, a GP in Wooburn Green, Buckinghamshire
'Vaccinations are cheap and can prevent serious disease on a large scale.
It is imperative that the most vulnerable members of society - the elderly and homeless, the housebound and those patients with multiple co-morbidities - are vaccinated.
'But without an effective method of delivery, even the most advanced vaccination is rendered useless because they are perishable if the cold chain is broken. Cool storage of flu jabs and the ability to transport a number of doses is essential to a cost-effective campaign.
'The ozone-friendly Labcold mobile fridge provides the ideal medium to store and transport perishable items. It is cheap, light, durable and extremely easy to operate.
'Highly portable, the Labcold comes with a strap if the handles are inconvenient to use. Power can either be drawn from the mains or from a car battery, making the fridge truly mobile and hence maintaining the cold chain.
'Overall, the Labcold system is an essential piece of kit for district nurses and other healthcare professionals requiring a mobile and versatile fridge.'
LEC PHARMACY FRIDGE
Reviewed by Dr Peter Ilves, a GP in Roehampton, south-west London and medical director of Primary Solutions (UK) Ltd
'Buying a Lec medical fridge is one way of making sure you meet the recommendations for vaccine storage of the National Pharmaceutical Association.
'The association's criteria state that such a fridge should be designed for this purpose and should have an operating range that is guaranteed to be between +2degC and +8degC, have an audio/visual alarm, be lockable and have an electronic temperature control.
'The interior of this fridge is functional and basic with a 142-litre capacity.
'The interior and exterior are easy to clean and there is clear advice as to what products can be used for this.
'An electronic panel at the right top corner is the control centre for the fridge. This is preset at the factory and should not need adjustment.
'My experience of this particular model of fridge is that it is solidly constructed and meets the necessary standards.'
WMS/LABCOLD DRUG REFRIGERATOR
Reviewed by Dr Bryan Palmer, a GP in Fareham, Hampshire
'A good fridge is vital if supplies of vaccine are to be kept to hand. Prevention is a key plank of the government plan to reduce illness. With us having to vaccinate all those over 75 with pneumococcal vaccine as well as the flu campaign, can your vaccine fridge cut the ice or will it overheat in battle?
'One of the most important safety aspects of vaccine storage is temperature.
The WMS/Labcold comes with a built-in LCD digital thermometer with temperature alarm.
'This has two modes: maximum/minimum and high/low. The former shows the current temperature along with the maximum and minimum that have occurred since it was set.
'The latter shows the temperature and the preset high and low temperature alarm limits.
'It is also CFC free and has A-grade energy efficiency for low running costs.'
|MEDICAL FRIDGE FEATURES|
|Labcold portable vaccine refrigerator RPDF 0012||Lec PE502 |
|Capacity ||12 litres||142 litres||160 litres|
|Dimensions||290 x 415 x 285mm (exterior); |
200 x 335 x 160mm (interior)
|860 x 502 x 584mm (exterior); 749 x 448 x 446mm (interior)||850x550x620mm|
|£776.68 incl VAT; |
£1039.88 incl VAT with glass door
|£763.75 incl VAT|