Temperature monitoring in the medical, pharmaceutical and chemical industries is critical to comply with safety protocols. These healthcare sectors work with elements that are sensitive to temperature changes. In some cases, controlling the temperature in their environment is key to ensuring their proper performance.Indicator labels are a practical resource we can use to control the temperature quickly and easily. Their heat-sensitive elements react to heat by changing colour and display the temperature, making it easier to monitor.
Types of Medical & Pharmaceutical industries
The transport of medicines at controlled temperatures requires the use of transport means with a cold chamber to prevent the cold chain of the medicines from being broken. In general, the temperature should always be kept between 2 °C and 8 °C. It is also essential to use a clean cold room, and carefully load the products to prevent breakage or similar accidents. That being said, controlling the cold chain is fundamental. This can be done using devices like temperature recorders or using simpler solutions, like adhesive indicators, which alert you by changing colour if there is a fault in the refrigeration, both due to excess or lack of cold.
For the transport of vaccines, we must also have vehicles with cold chambers, isothermal boxes, portable refrigerators, ice packs and, most of all, temperature control systems that ensure the preservation of the drugs’ cold chain.
When the cargo arrives at its destination, it must be placed in a vaccine refrigerator that is at the same temperature. The cold chain for vaccine preservation ensures the thermal stability of vaccines, thus minimizing the possibility of germ propagation or drug deterioration, which could create a health problem for the patient.
As we can see, professionals in the sector do not transport all medicines as if they were a single commodity. Following a strict protocol, they follow the laboratory’s instructions at all times to use the most appropriate transport. The temperature range is from 0 °C for vaccines to 25 °C for other commonly-used drugs that do not require refrigeration but do require temperature control.
In these tasks, using irreversible temperature indicators allows unassisted control during transport. By permanently changing colour, they will alert you if the cold chain was broken at any point.
Traditional adhesive thermometers are also useful to check the temperature of the vaccine refrigerator and to prevent inadequate cooling in good time.
We believe we have covered the most important aspects of the transport of refrigerated medicines, thus helping you understand the importance of finding a carrier that strictly complies with the protocols, and uses a suitable temperature control method to ensure the proper preservation, as well as the durability and usability of each medicine.
Here we have three options: dry heat, autoclave and chemicals. As we will see below, however, only two of them are the most used nowadays.
It is carried out using Poupinel ovens, which can heat the instruments to 180 °C.The downside is that you have to wait for them to cool down before using them and that such a high temperature causes them to deteriorate prematurely. It is the least used method.
It consists of two chambers: one external and one internal, in which steam is used to eliminate germs. The most used is the so-called pre-vacuum autoclave. Inside, the oxygen is vacuumed and the steam enters at a temperature of 121-134 °C. Then the vacuum is created once again, and finally, the cooling stage takes place.
Options such as ethylene oxide, formaldehyde, plasma gas and hydrogen peroxide are arranged in chambers for the immersion of the corresponding surgical material.
Also, those explained in the following sections must be added to those mentioned above.
The aim is for the proteins to be denatured, the lipids to melt, and the microorganisms to be dewatered. It is quite a mildly aggressive method for metal instruments. It is suitable for the sterilization of viscous or powdery substances and is effective at a temperature of 120 °C.
Radiation is ionizing, given its effectiveness in easily eliminating microorganisms. Gamma radiation is often chosen because of its ability to penetrate. It is very effective in removing germs from Petri dishes.
Two broad groups can be distinguished, including some of the options already outlined.
Alcohols (isopropyl and ethanols), aldehydes (glutaraldehyde and formaldehyde), phenols (xylenol and carbolic acid), ethylene oxide and hydrogen peroxide are mainly used.
Autoclave, dry heat, hot air, incineration, tyndallization, pasteurization, boiling and steam, among others.
We hope that we have given you the necessary facts to know how the sterilization of surgical material and laboratory material works.
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