Equipment review - Mobile fridge helps hit flu jabtargets

Keep the cold chain intact with the help of this cheap portable fridge, says Dr Raj Thakkar.

Demands on community healthcare professionals have increased dramatically in recent times and will no doubt continue to grow. High workloads require efficiency if quality medical care is to be delivered cost-effectively.

Population-wide preventive medicine provides the ideal platform to influence public health. Vaccinations are relatively 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. This can make reaching vulnerable members of society time-consuming and labour-intensive, particularly when having to visit patients at home. Unless the vaccines are kept cool, multiple trips to and from the surgery add to the programme's inefficiency.

Flu vaccination sessions are busy and require careful coordination and manpower. The GMS contract includes quality points and enhanced services targets for immunisation. Cool storage of flu jabs and the ability to transport a number of doses is therefore 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. Brilliantly, power can either be drawn from the mains or from a car battery, making the fridge truly mobile and hence maintaining the cold chain. The fridge, however, will run the car battery flat if the engine is switched off.

The Labcold can be operated flat or upright and as long as there is enough space allowing adequate airflow, it can be placed virtually anywhere.

Stabilisation time is required before the fridge can be activated. Based on an ambient temperature of 20 degC, the Labcold can keep items warm too, maintaining any temperature between -5 degC and +60 degC. Biannual calibration is required.

Overall, the Labcold system is easy to use and an essential piece of kit for district nurses and other healthcare professionals requiring a truly mobile and versatile fridge.

- An independent review by Dr Thakkar, a GP in Woodburn Green, Buckinghamshire

- Equipment supplied by Williams Medical Supplies

DEAL OF THE WEEK
Model: Labcold portable vaccine refrigerator
Price: £287.88 incl VAT

LABCOLD PORTABLE FRIDGE: KEY FEATURES
- Powered via 230v AC and 12v DC (both cables supplied).
- Temperature setpoint range of -5 degC to +60 degC (including 20 degC
ambient).
- Robust construction from fully moulded plastic.
- Solid-state refrigeration system.
- CFC-, HCFC- and ammonia-free.
- Supplied with carry strap and internal lid.
- Capacity: 12 litres.
- Weight: less than 5kg.
- Dimensions: 290 x 415 x 285mm (exterior); 200 x 335 x 160mm
(interior).

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