Medical and Laboratory Grade Refrigeration and Freezer Units can be found in every size with all the accompanying bells and whistles. However, there is more to purchasing cold storage than one might think. The landscape for medical grade refrigeration and freezers is a competitive marketplace and stakeholders in the industry need to be able to see comparisons of available products. This is an integral part of educating our scientific consumers on what to expect when investing in a new cold-storage unit.
Why Investing in Quality Medical Refrigeration important to Stakeholders?
Investing in cold storage equipment is one of the most important expenditures in a laboratory environment. Breakdowns within the cold storage chain are attributed to hundreds of thousands of dollars in wasted blood product and research samples.
It is estimated that red blood cell (RBC) product wastage in hospitals is reported to range anywhere from 0.1% to 6.7%. A study also indicated that the amount of RBC wastage at Vanderbilt University Medical Center reached almost $250,000 in the year 2010. This was calculated using the cost of RBC’s estimated at about $225 per unit.
Considerations When Purchasing Medical and Laboratory Grade Refrigeration Products
Medical grade refrigerators are designed to meet specific criteria relevant to the type of contents they house. In the scope of medical or laboratory function, cold storage units must be temperature specific to many distinct types of specimens. In this type of circumstance, combination type units would have been compared to assess the best value.
For example, they may house FFPE specimens, whole blood, vaccines, plasma, reagents, solutions, and/or various medical products. Each product may hold a unique temperature recommendation and a strict rotation and inventory program. In a laboratory environment, depending upon standard operating procedures, a medical refrigerator/freezer unit could be designated for multiple products.
This would make sufficient interior housing elements such as shelving especially important. Other attributes might include size and budget parameters. Of course, there are many other factors to consider when purchasing a laboratory grade refrigerator unit – especially those designed for blood banking that carry the energy-star approved rating.
What Is Important When Investing in Laboratory or Blood Bank Refrigeration?
In terms of reliability, laboratory grade refrigeration may have certain features that can offer peace of mind such as the K2 innovative Monoblock cooling system. Unlike traditional blood bank refrigerators, the K2 unit features an independently housed, one-piece, component installed on top of the refrigerator or freezer that Is easily removed. In the event of a system failure, the K2 Monoblock can be easily replaced in 20 minutes or less. This helps to avoid costly repairs and product loss.
Energy Star Ratings
An energy star rating is a product or appliance that meets or exceeds certain federally mandated efficiency guidelines. In our industry, this means that certified medical refrigeration units highlighting the energy star coveted rating must have the same desired features and performance paired with top-notch energy efficiency.
Efficiency is measured in how well a system function for the intended purpose. It encompasses important details such as, Is the footprint design ample enough to meet the scale of products required? A good example is that K2 offers one of the largest blood bank refrigerators available sized at 49 cubic feet.
Comparing Product Offerings: How K2 Ranks Among the Top Competitors
One of the more popular blood bank model refrigeration units are those that offer about 40+ cubic feet of space and with a certified energy star rating. We took some comparable models and stacked them up side by side for easy comparison.
|ENERGY STAR Partner||Helmer Scientific|
|Thermo Fisher Scientific LLC||K2 Scientific, LLC|
|Product Type||High Performance Refrigerator||High Performance Refrigerator||High Performance Refrigerator|
|Total Volume (cubic feet)||42.8||48.3||47.31|
|Lab Grade Refrigerator or Freezer Energy Consumption (kWh/day)||3.77||7.14||3.81|
|Peak Temperature Variance (ºC)||1.37||3.49||3.6|
|Product Form Factor||Upright||Upright||Upright|
|Total Number of Doors||2||2||2|
|Number of glass doors||2||2||2|
|Door Opening Orientation||Swinging,Left,Right||Swinging||Swinging|
|Number of Drawers or Shelves||8||8||8|
|Number of Internal Ports and/or Access Holes||0||1||0|
|Additional Model Information|
|Date Available on Market||07/30/2019||05/11/2018||05/15/2018|
|Estimated Retail: $9900||Estimated Retail: $11,169||$7,595|
K2 Scientific hosts a variety of products that are the same quality as our higher priced competitors. We offer many of the same highly desirable features along with expert customer service and advice. Our goals are to provide those in the blood banking or laboratory industry a fair pricing structure. For more information, please contact one of our team members.