Cold Chain

Daniel Grabek
Daniel Grabek

For some time I had been trying to have some research done on our cold chain. Not only for our refrigerated items, but items stored on the shelf in drug rooms.
Honours student, Daniel Grabek from UTAS came to the rescue with his honours thesis “Stability of medicines stored in remote outback settings”.

We had some monitors for a while sitting in our drug rooms faithfully recording all the temperature spikes as community generators started failing in different communities. The most interesting though was the temperature reached when goods were flown in an out (our only access for medications).

A data logger was not switched off and recorded temperatures as it bounced off down to Tassie with Australia Post. The highest spike was in transit by plane from the community. It reached 56C and took over 8 hours to fall below 25C when placed in a cool room.

These are the temperatures our refrigerated products have to handle in transit. We have very few breaches of the cold chain.

However the temperatures reached should be of concern for mail-order pharmacy and even delivery of goods on the back of trucks in summer, particularly in the country.

I have just taken possession of 8 data loggers and are going to use them to monitor everything from doctors bags to drugs in transit as part of our QA.

I look forward to seeing Daniel’s completed thesis

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Robbo is a pharmacist working with a very remote Aboriginal Health Service in the deserts of Western Australia. + Andrew Robbo Roberts

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