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Thread: 'Fire & Ice ' Test- temperature monitoring probes

  1. #1
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2016

    'Fire & Ice ' Test- temperature monitoring probes

    At a recent Transfusion discussion group meeting, colleagues mentioned an NC given during an accreditation visit over their wireless fridge monitoring system, resulting in having to perform a ‘Fire and Ice’ test (as known in the US)-a check of each temperature monitoring probe by inserting into hot/ cold water to ensure the alert alarms activated at their defined settings. To me this sounds overkill and incredibly time consuming- can this not be demonstrated in a easier and more sensible way?

    Some points to consider:

    1. If taking the above approach, you would have to show the alarms were activated at exactly the low and high alert temperatures within the set timeframe for the testing to be meaningful ie activated at 2.5’C low temp (allowing for tolerance) when the probe was inserted into liquid when it reached at 2.5’C (not ice cold). Similarly the high core temp alarm would activate at 6.5’C ( not hot water)- immediately.

    2. If a site has 24probes , this testing would take approx. 30mins/ probe =12hrs.

    3. If the equipment has hard-wired remote alarms, this may be a different issue and probably would need to demonstrate for each probe, depending on how activations are relayed to the remote sites, and the time of activation recorded . Is there an easier way??

    4. For a wireless systems, where the high and low alerts are easily set, why can't the test be conducted per area, not probe ( ie each area box is tested that relays multiple probes), as follows: In a controlled way, select one probe ONLY from each box, increase the low alert alarm setting to activate the alarm and record time. Similarly, for the high setting, decrease the setting to activate the alarm. Remember to reset alert thresholds. With most of these systems it's easy to conduct a real-time ‘check reading’. Just to be clear-these settings are temporarily adjusted on the monitoring system NOT the Fridge.
    This would prove the following

    • The probes are communicating with the box and the website and the alert is returned to the lab.
    • The alert system responds to high and low alarm settings, though again not at exactly 2.5 and 6.5- but it works at any point selected as the high or low alert setting!

    I may be a little flippant, and even wrong about this , so your comments and ideas would be very helpful to reduce confusion the transfusion community is constantly having to deal with, and we all learn this way .

    Many thanks
    Last edited by Rashmi; 18th Jun 2019 at 11:01 PM.

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