As the world’s population grows each year, the need for blood components continues to escalate. According to the American Red Cross, every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood. And one of society’s most important priorities is to ensure that a safe, adequate supply of blood and blood products exists to meet this demand. There is no alternative product that can replace human blood, and the supply depends entirely on voluntary donations, which never fully meet demand. This supply constraint, coupled with the limited shelf-life of blood components, often make it difficult for blood centers across the world to establish stockpiles and maintain more than a few days’ supply to meet routine transfusion demands.
As per national data, India needs 8.5 million odd units annually as against some 5 to 5.5 million units that are collected. However, Out of this about 71% of Whole Blood(WH) and 10% of blood components are wasted annually due various reasons cited as: over-collection and under-collection of blood from donors; RBC contamination of plasma and platelets; blood bag leakages; presence of hemolysis, clots, lipemic appearance, greenish and yellowish (icterus) discoloration; expiry date and seroreactivity for infectious diseases.
One of the major reasons for blood wastage has been the absence of maintaining the temperature of blood units during its shifting from the blood bank to the recipient department or on receiving it back at the blood bank owing to its non-utilisation. There seems to be a lack of proper storage, handling facilities and qualified technicians at the hospital and many of such units are destroyed by the blood bank because of reaching expiry date, which could have been given to those in need of blood.
Thus a High performance refrigeration plays a large role in storage. Units of Whole Blood (WB) and Packed red blood cells (pRBC) must be stored at 2-6 °C, for a maximum permitted period of 35 and 42 days, respectively. Maintaining this tight temperature band at all times is a critical requirement of blood bank cold chain. Below 2°C, the blood haemolyses and transfusing haemolysed blood can cause renal failure and fatal bleeding problems and above 6°C blood is at the risk of bacterial contamination. Also, this precise cooling is required to maintain blood’s oxygen carrying ability and to prevent red cell membrane rupture.Various blood storage equipment are available in the market but these regular/conventional refrigerators and freezers are not equipped to store blood and its components.
Godrej Appliances identified this critical requirement of blood storage and thus developed Blood storage refrigerators for hospitals and blood banks using innovative SureChill Technology. Godrej Precooled Blood Storage units address the key need of providing precise cooling solutions for storing Blood Bags even under long power outage conditions quite prevalent across Urban, Semi Urban and Rural areas within the country. The Operating Surechill technology guarantees “No Freeze” areas within Storage chamber, extended holdover to maintain temperatures within 2-6 deg in case of breakdowns or power outages
The Surechill technology, core to this refrigerator, is based on the scientific principle that water is densest at 4deg. C, which happens also to be the ideal temperature for storing blood. The technology harnesses this natural phenomenon to create a constantly chilled environment within the refrigeration unit-whether there is power or not. It is so reliable that it will maintain a completely steady temperature for 10 days or more after power has been interrupted. This is achieved through the movement of dense water at 4deg C, generated as the system’s ice bank interacts with warmer water circulating within the unit. Once power has been used to generate the ice bank in the first instance, the Surechill technology channels the supply of naturally generated 4deg C water to the refrigeration compartment without the need for any further power.
Key features of Godrej blood bank refrigerator include robust construction and technical design, automatic frost-free design, temperature recorder with a battery back-up to maintain uninterrupted chart record, and minimal maintenance requirements. Automatic defrost maintains an optimum cooling temperature inside the refrigerator.Godrej appliances has also developed Blood Storage Solar Direct drive Refrigerators which eliminates the use of inverters and batteries thus leading to fewer parts, lesser chance of failure and low maintenance cost.
Currently, Godrej precooled Blood storage refrigerators are available in five SKU’s based on Literage and Operating Power source –
- GBR 50 AC , GBR 100AC & GBR 225AC running on Grid power
- GBR 50 DC , GBR 100 DC running on Direct Solar power
These Blood bank refrigerators meet strict specifications laid down by WHO and are listed as PQS prequalified (Performance, Quality and Safety standards) which are suitable for Blood bags storage for Private and Public Multi Specialty / Super Specialty / General Hospitals, Blood Banks, Charitable Societies and NGOs like Red Cross, MSF etc. The Emergency or casualty Departments of Government Funded Medical Research Institutes and PSU funded hospitals may also find the product suitable.