How can Hospitals Achieve Sustainability with their Medical Cold Chain?

B Medical Systems S.a r.l

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The Medical Cold Chain is the network of medical Refrigerators, Freezers, and transport solutions tasked with always keeping vaccines, pharmaceuticals, samples or compounds at the intended temperatures during the biological’s distribution process.

The efficacy of many potentially life savings drugs are dependent on temperature, meaning that from the moment of their manufacture until their administration, they must be stored within a strict temperature range. Any temperature deviation could potentially result in the biological irreparably losing its potency.

Medical Cold Chains are renowned to contribute to significant operational costs be a great cost for hospitals, laboratories universities and other healthcare and research centres, as the refrigeration solutions employed can be highly energy intensive. Using and maintaining these networks can therefore build up great energy expenditures and therefore also result in significant carbon emissions.

Hospitals - why adopting a viable sustainability model is critical

Being at the centre of many clinical activities such as surgeries, blood transfusions, treatments, and more, hospitals need to preserve many different types of biologicals such as medicines, vaccines, and various types of samples, which are often thermosensitive. To achieve this, they require an extensive cold chain able to meet the many different temperature requirements of all these thermosensitive specimens. Because of this, hospitals are at the centre of discussions regarding how high-quality care can be given in the most sustainable and climate-friendly manner. Moreover, today’s healthcare systems are under tremendous pressure from the pandemic as new requirements add to the existing demands for good healthcare services and the constraints of disproportionate funding. These factors are pushing hospitals to turn to sustainable solutions that can deliver the lowest cost of operations in the most reliable and environmentally friendly way possible.

However, the upfront cost of setting up a reliable cold chain can still be a problem. Often, to reduce these costs, several procurement departments opt for cheaper products. On the other hand, these products might feature high energy consumption and higher costs associated with HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning), resulting in a significantly higher Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) during the lifespan of the product. Moreover, products of inferior quality can result in frequent breakdowns/repairs that can further add to the cost of ownership, and in extreme cases, lead to the premature replacement of the cold chain device and the procurement of new ones.

B Medical Systems and its sustainable range of solutions

B Medical Systems, a global leader in the medical cold chain industry, has a long legacy of helping governments, hospitals and organisations across the world tackle every challenge related to the cold chain, including sustainability. In fact, the company is now one of the few players offering a broad and complete portfolio of medical refrigeration devices that uses green refrigerants. These refrigerants, such as the R600a, have a zero Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) and minimal Global Warming Potential (GWP), enabling B Medical Systems’ Medical Cold Chain solutions to significantly reduce environmentally harmful emissions. These gases, coupled with structural features like insulated doors and sealed gaskets that minimise cold air loss and heat conduction make its refrigeration solutions more energy efficient. These devices comply with regulations such as the EU F-Gas and the US SNAP. Furthermore, B Medical Systems also possesses several Energy Star certified models in its portfolio.

To help hospitals in their sustainability efforts, B Medical Systems offers medical-grade Laboratory Refrigerators, Pharmacy Refrigerators, Laboratory Freezers, Blood Bank Refrigerators, Plasma Freezers, Ultra-low freezers, and Transport Boxes. These products are designed with a meticulous focus on quality and are EU MDR Class I/II(a) and US FDA Class I/II medical devices. Some of the major features of these devices (varying between each product) are:

•    Uniform and stable temperature distribution.
•    Superior holdover times and Door Opening Recovery (DOR).
•    Energy efficiency.
•    Ability to operate at high ambient temperatures like +43°C.
•    5-layer/4-layer PMMA organic glass provides superior insulation and visibility.
•    Superior cabinet insulation.
•    Audio-visual alarms including a rechargeable battery backup.
•    7” touchscreen for easy access control of the device.
•    24/7 Remote Monitoring.
•    USB Data exports.

High energy efficiency is also related to lower HVAC costs which translate into lower operational costs. This, along with the reliability and durability of the products, ensures a lower Total Cost of Ownership for B Medical Systems’ products. The company also offers 24/7 remote monitoring solutions, thereby ensuring one more layer of security for all temperature-sensitive specimens stored in its products.

Operating Keywords –

•    Sustainability
•    Sustainable cold chain
•    Medical cold chain
•    Vaccine cold chain
•    Medical refrigeration
•    Energy efficient cold chain
•    Blood management
•    Hospitals cold chain