Medical Refrigerators

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Maintain the integrity of temperature-sensitive medical and laboratory materials with a medical refrigerator.

Consistent temperature holding and effective security features are essential for medical or laboratory applications to ensure the safe storage of highly sensitive materials. Like with most commercial refrigerators, there are a number of options available, including the number of doors, upright and undercounter models, glass or solid doors, pass-through or full service operation, and glass or solid doors. However, medical refrigerators are built with a variety of technical features intended exclusively for use in hospitals and laboratories.

These units often contain digital thermostats, high temperature alarms, and data logging technologies to meet the particular requirements of medical refrigeration. For more sophisticated temperature tracking, add-on glycol probes can be used to simulate the approximate temperature of the stored contents. Most medical refrigerator and freezer manufacturers incorporate an internal fan to keep temperatures consistent from top to bottom since heat rises, even in a refrigerator. Burkett offers medical grade refrigerators from Migali Scientific, one of the top names in medical refrigeration.

Medical refrigerators include entirely different features than commercial foodservice refrigerators. Since medical refrigeration requires more direct and monitored temperature control, it's important to choose the right model. These units are designed to meet the recommended CDC temperature requirements for safely storing vaccines and medications. Each medical refrigerator is tested to hold stable temperatures. Advanced temperature control features monitor, and even log temperature data to track interior temperatures over a longer period of time.

Medical Refrigerator Buying Considerations

  • Medical Refrigeration type - Each unit has specialized features to fit the needs of medical facilities. For example, a pharmacy may purchase an undercounter medical refrigerator designed to store only medications. Hospitals could choose a blood bank refrigerator or freezer to reserve plasma or blood donations at their correct temperature. Scientific institutions may request a laboratory refrigerator to stock vials that can hold samples at optimal conditions. When storing vaccines, you should only use units that comply with CDC guidelines for refrigerated storage.
  • Temperature & system monitoring - Temperature settings for medical refrigerators must be much more accurate and provide uniform temperatures to ensure product reliability and prevent vaccine waste. Rapid temperature recovery and stabilization should also be considered depending on how often access will be needed. If a door is left open, or cabinet temperatures fail to meet your pre-set tolerance parameters, the built-in alarm system should alert staff. Vaccines vary in temperature requirements and fluctuations in temperature can have a disastrous result on a vaccine’s effectiveness.
  • Construction type - Choose from extremely durable solid door models, glass doors for quick viewing and product distinction, pass-through access, upright models or convenient undercounter units.
  • Power failure alarm - An emergency power failure alarm system could be one of the most critical assets that these units include. Choosing a unit that can alert you to system failures will allow your staff to act accordingly and prevent major loss.
  • Data analysis - Your new system may feature SD card data storage, digital data logging, temperature data storage, USB downloadable temperature history, and access to 3rd party monitoring. All of these functions help ensure your vaccines and samples are not compromised.
  • Capacity & shelving - Choosing a vaccine storage unit should be performed with care. How much the unit can hold will be a big decision. A hospital or laboratory will likely have a large stock of vaccines and medicines to house. An undersized unit may cause overpacking if not carefully selected. Wire shelves, or shelves that are perforated with ventilation holes are great for promoting proper airflow. When searching medical refrigerators and freezers for your establishment, review of the CDC proper vaccine storage and handling guide can aid in making a final decision.

Frequently Asked Questions About Medical Refrigerators

What temperature should my medical refrigerator hold?

According to the CDC, the temperature requirements for medical refrigerators are between 2°C and 8°C (36°F and 46°F).

Can I use a medical refrigerator for food?

These units were created specifically to house pharmaceutical and medical samples. Never store food alongside sensitive biological materials. By clearly labeling the contents of your medical refrigerator and storing food and personal items elsewhere, you can prevent compromising the integrity of your medical supplies. For storing food, check out our selection of reach-in refrigerators and freezers, undercounter refrigerators and freezers, or worktop refrigerators and freezers.