Belgium Military Hospital uses Timestrip Temperature Indicators

Belgium Military Hospital uses Timestrip Temperature Indicators to help protect vital blood stocks – PRESS RELEASE

Smart label pioneers Timestrip, working with their Benelux distribution partner INNOLABEL, have confirmed that the Queen Astrid Military Hospital in Belgium has adopted a temperature control regime for red blood cells, platelets and plasma using Timestrip Temperature Indicators.  Application of the Timestrip labels is helping to expose potentially fatal changes caused by damaging ascending or descending temperature and prevent unnecessary wastage of valuable life saving products through accurate temperature monitoring outside the cold chain.

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In addition to ongoing patient care and clinical research conducted at the hospital, there is a burns center and a blood bank taking donations from the active military and local civilian defense staff. Patients in the burns center are treated with blood products from the blood bank, along with children in the Hematology Oncology Center at the nearby Queen Fabiola Hospital.

Blood products are also shipped abroad to treat service personnel on foreign assignments, often in lifesaving scenarios.

In line with the Federal Public Health regulatory guidelines, the red blood cells, platelets and plasma are collected, processed and stored at their prescribed temperatures until released from the cold chain. Red blood cell concentrates are stored in refrigerators at +4 °C. Blood plasma is frozen to -80 ° C. Platelets are stored at a temperature of +22 ° C and gently agitated to prevent coagulation. The temperature in medical refrigerators is constantly monitored and reported, in line with regulatory demands.

Blood Temp 10 TimestripHowever, the transportation of the red blood cell concentrates from the blood bank refrigerators to the care unit or operating theatre takes place in refrigerated boxes.  It is here where Timestrip indicators become the guardians of product quality, monitoring individual product consignments for temperature abuse.

Timestrip indicators are activated by simple finger pressure and placed directly on to blood bag labels, monitoring the core bag temperature and providing clear visual indications of temperature excursions between 2-8 °C – including the length of time of that excursion.  Freeze indicators also used on products to identify if a damaging temperature descent has occurred below 0 °C, either at altitude or in severe cold climates.

Timestrip indicators show that the necessary transportation temperatures (outside of the controlled cold chain) have been maintained. As a result, decisions regarding the permissible return of stock to the blood bank, or the safe use of products kept in cool boxes over a prolonged treatment period are made possible. The failsafe nature of the Timestrip technology and the irreversible display readings remove all ambiguity from the quality checks.

Without Timestrip indicators, the care teams would be obliged to follow The Federal Public Health guidelines that demand red blood cell concentrates returned to the blood bank are destroyed, if there is no proof that optimal storage conditions were maintained. The result is that invaluable blood products are destroyed by this lack of certainty. In the past, this ambiguity has led to significant wastage of perfectly good product, which is both costly and ethically uncomfortable to front line teams who know that blood donors give blood to help protect life, not see their donations discarded due to ambiguity.

Commenting on the adoption of Timestrip indicators, Dr. Christian Vandenvelde, Head of the Military Department for Blood Transfusion observes “By using the freeze indicators we can tell if the product has been frozen during storage or transport.  Should an error occur and, for example, platelets have been kept in a freezer instead of at room temperature, then the freeze indicator makes this temperature abuse absolutely clear.  With red blood cells, freezing causes the red blood cells to break down and if the temperature rises too high then bacteria could multiply to dangerous levels.”

There are no special storage requirements for Timestrip labels which makes handling much more efficient when compared to other indicators. This is critical in operational terms, given that the blood bank teams have identified the need for speed when it comes to ID-tagging red blood cell concentrates once removed from the cold chain.Lieutenant France T’Sas, Doctor in biomedical sciences, has seen a big improvement in the way products are handled, commenting ”By using the TimestripPlus label, we noticed that there was already a limited excursion of the optimal temperature during ID – tagging of the red blood cell concentrates. The fact is that it warms up quickly, while it takes much longer to cool down. Timestrip indicators have helped identify this and as a result we have adapted and speeded up our procedures to prevent these excursions.  The TimestripPlus label is very user friendly, very accurate and readable to anyone without any additional explanation.”

Dr.Vandenvelde concludes, “By applying freeze indicator and a TimestripPlus label, we can demonstrate that we now have continuous temperature monitoring of our blood products. This also means that we have more certainty on the storage conditions in order to take back blood products. Moreover, any human error can be discovered and critical mistakes avoided.

As a results of these advances in red blood cell product monitoring , we are now also using Timestrip labels with different temperature limits to  apply to the platelets and plasma , because here continuous temperature control is an absolute must.  Also, the cost of a TimestripPlus label is negligible in relation to the value of the blood products. These life saving products are too precious not to employ all means possible in order to improve our procedures, ensure quality and remove unnecessary wastage.”The Belgium Military logistics teams are also using Timestrip indicators for temperature control of red blood cells during air transport to Africa, where they have soldiers in active service.  All air transport equipment is validated for the transportation of red blood cell concentrates and both the TimestripPlus and freeze indicators are used inside the validated shippers to help front line medical teams keep an eye on optimal temperatures during transport.

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ISO 13485:2003 Quality Management Certification

ISO 13485:2003Timestrip is proud to announce the successful certification to ISO 13485:2003 Quality Management Standard for Medical Devices in addition to our recent recertification of ISO 9001:2008.

Recognised around the world, the ISO 13485:2003 registration is based on eight quality management principles. These include: customer focus, leadership, involvement of people, process approach, system approach to management, continual improvement, fact-based decision-making and mutually beneficial supplier relationships.

The certification of the Company’s compliance with ISO 13485:2003 recognizes the policies, practices and procedures of our firm to ensure consistent quality in the products provided to our customers. With this certification, our medical and non-medical clients can be confident that Timestrip is dedicated to maintaining the highest efficiency and responsiveness achieving our ultimate goal – Guaranteed Customer Satisfaction.

Timestrip is certified as meeting the requirements of ISO:13485 for the following activities: DEVELOPMENT AND MANUFACTURING OF SMART LABELS FOR MEDICAL USE.

To maintain our certification, Timestrip will perform annual audits to ensure compliance and to assess initiatives for continued improvement. Our customers can be confident that Timestrip will continue to provide the high quality services they have come to expect well into the future.

We believe that our decision to become ISO 13485 Certified is a proactive one that not only anticipates the demands of our customers, but also demonstrates our commitment to providing quality services to all our customers in the medical industry. We strongly believe augmenting our certification offers our customers a “Best-in-Class” choice for smart labels.

The accreditation also supports our work in pharmaceutical categories, where a range of Timestrip products are used to identify temperature breaches in highly regulated cold chain environments. We are helping to protect patients and prevent unnecessary wastage of many drugs, vaccines and blood products, where the 2-8°C/46°F storage range is critical to so many products.

BT10 activationTimestrip indicators are leading the market in the provision of low-cost temperature indicators, as demonstrated by our blood bag temperature monitoring labels. In 2013 we launched the Timestrip Blood Temp 10 indicator, in response to the need to reduce wastage of precious blood stocks, discarded through uncertainty around temperature breaches incurred when bags are in use and removed from carefully controlled refrigeration storage units in blood banks.

Belgian Red Cross-Flanders logoIn 2014, Timestrip UK Ltd announced it is working with Belgian Red Cross-Flanders to develop new blood temperature monitoring labels with a product development program looking to create optimal temperature  monitoring labels for the blood collection, distribution and transfusion organisations operating within the Flanders catchment area.

Temperature monitoring labels based on the existing Timestrip Blood Temp 10 product are now being developed and reviewed in consultation with Belgian Red Cross-Flanders.

Gates Foundation Vaccine Reminder BandAlso in 2014 we were proud to be the technology of choice for an innovative new product created to provide a wearable, low-cost vaccination reminder product for new-born children.

Bill & Melinda Gates FoundationThe Bill Gates Foundation funded Vaccine Reminder Band is currently undergoing field trials in Pakistan. Timestrip has a long history of innovation in the medical device sector and we now provide a range of products which act as invaluable visual aids to doctors, patients and healthcare workers.

Timestrip Plus activation

For example in the UK, a number of NHS dispensing pharmacies are already using Timestrip® PLUS to monitor the cold chain for temperature-sensitive drugs such as Neulasta® and Total Paternal Nutrition (‘TPN’) products.

Timestrip is committed to quality assurance processes and procedures and we see the ISO 13485:2003 Quality Management Standard for Medical Devices accreditation as a natural progression of our work in the specialist markets in which we aim to excel.

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Become a Timestrip® distributor

2013 saw the launch of several new products in the Timestrip range and a significant uplift in enquiries from within key sectors such as pharmaceuticals, life sciences and healthcare.

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One such example being the Temp10 temperature breach indicator label created for blood bags – now saving time, money and lives in blood banks across Europe and the USA.

Innovation remains a core strand of our dynamic approach to solution development and the practical application of patented, low-cost smart label indicators.

As a result the company is looking to appoint a raft of new sales and marketing partners for its entire range, with a focus initially on mainland Europe.

Organisations with expertise and established routes to market within cold-chain markets in pharmaceuticals, medicines, vaccines, blood products and life sciences are invited to make contact for initial consultations with us via our Distributor Recruitment page.

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Life-saving Fetal Membranes Rupture Test with Built in Timestrip

The Fetal Membrane Rupture Test by Rom Plus has a customized 20 minute Timestrip built into the diagnostic test cassette.

When the Timestrip is activated by hand it indicates the length of time until the test results can be read, between 5 and 20 minutes.

Premature ruptures of fetal membranes can be accounted for up to 10% of perinatal deaths, according to the Journal of American Medical Association.

Early diagnosis minimizes the chance for serious complication and the Timestrip enhanced easy-to-use Rom Plus test offers clinicians quick results so they can provide quick treatment to save the lives of infants.

 

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