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sabbott

Drug Temperature Maintenance

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Hello All. I have a question regarding temperature regulation for drug boxes on fire engines. We have several units that experience extremes in temperatures and it's my understanding that meds. need to be stored between 50-80 degrees. So I am looking for a way to keep our drug boxes between those temps. What are other folks out there doing?

Regards;

Stephen Abbott

Battalion Chief

North County Fire Protection District

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I tried to find some info on this in Google for you. Unfortunately, all I could find were studies saying what the temps should be and that currently EMS doesn't do a good job of maintain correct temps.

No solutions to this problem however. Somehow that doesn't surprise me :roll:

http://www.upstate.edu/publicaffairs/news.php?id=467.htm

http://www.usp.org/USPNF/pf/2902/d01.html

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I "think" we've discussed this on the board before..... someone had a Great idea, though I can't remember the specifics... maybe they'll post it again.

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Probably the simplest and most economical answer would be to bring the drug box into the station, then put it in front of the door so you don't forget it on the way to a call. (THAT would be embarrassing.) If the units you're referring to are reserve units or don't see calls much, then this may be the way to go. Other solutions may include temperature-controlled cabinets or leaving the A/C or heater on all the time as the unit is plugged in. Garaged units really shouldn't have any problems (it would take so long for the bay to cool down, then the truck to cool down, then the box to cool down...) and most bays aren't much below 50 or above 80 anyway. There may be some commercial products out there for this, but I'm not familiar with them, so perhaps someone who is will chime in. You may contact some of the ambulance manufacturers and ask them what's out there.

'zilla

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Here our ambulances are garages of course i know most are.

in all our new ambulances we have been specing them out with refridgerators and IV fluid warmers. i know that maybe impracticle for an ALS engine bit it is something to be looked at. our fridges are approx. 3ft x 2ft x 3 ft dimentions. and run off of 110 volt or 12 volt. maintains temp very well

Race

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What are the extreme temperatures that you speak of?

If the units in question spend their time in a climate controlled bay, you really don't have much to worry about. The biggest concern is a loss of effectiveness from excess heat. It is pretty rare for the temperatures in a unit to exceed 80 degrees for a period long enough to degrade the meds.

Even here in west AZ, with common summer time temps >100 degrees F, the drug cabinet in the first out units never hits 90. We watched it closely last year, just to see if we needed to make a change. Turns out the amount that each drug degrades following exposure to excess heat is different. Epi is roughly 3-5% after 4 hours, Lasix is slightly less, and Succinylcholine is slightly more. We solved this issue by exchanging the more sensitive meds more often.

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There is a company Medi-Kool that manufactures climate controlled drug cabinets. They have units that hold Saline bags as well as other medications that require temp control, Narcotics lock boxes and larger units for anything that needs to be cooled or heated. Hope that helps.

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