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    Winter 2014

In this quarterly enewsletter you'll receive:

On the Edge. Zero Tolerance.
Critical Conditions.

A zero tolerance for error under critical conditions is the perfect description for blood plasma and its storage. Blood plasma care is a specialized, high-risk environment where the temperature and storage of plasma is vital to its many potential uses in the medical industry. So specialized that the proper maintenance and repair of plasma walk-in freezer units directly affects the safe uses for which this plasma may be utilized. VASEY has developed the superior service and expertise required within this industry to meet both the needs of public health and actual value of the plasma.
  VASEY Newsletter - Plasma Centers

What Exactly is Plasma?

Blood plasma is a dark yellow liquid making up approximately 55% of the total volume of your blood. Its primary purpose is to transport proteins, hormones, and nutrients throughout your body. It also contains important components such as antibodies, the proteins albumin and fibrinogen, and clotting factors. Isolated from the plasma, these components are used to treat severe burns, shock, trauma, autoimmune disorders, and hemophilia.

Plasma donation centers temporarily remove your blood, send it through a small centrifuge to separate the plasma, and send the remaining components back into your bloodstream. These centers are audited by the government and operate under strict government regulations. Once separated, the plasma must be brought down below critical temperature within a regulated time period, then stored and maintained at that temperature. If there is a freezer issue, the center has a specific and very short amount of time to get it repaired before it becomes critical and they have to relocate the inventory.

VASEY Newsletter - Plasma Centers  
If a freezer’s temperature goes outside the regulated, permissible zone then the center either loses a large portion of the value, or that whole batch of blood plasma must be destroyed. A single plasma donation (approximately 750 ml.) results in pharmaceutical products worth $300 to $600 depending on its use or breakdown. Consequently, a walk-in plasma freezer that’s down results in a major loss in production, time, and product sales for the donation center.

The United States, the largest plasma producer, supplies more than half the world’s plasma. For the plasma industry, growth has averaged 8 percent per year over the last two decades. Blood and plasma is serious business – from saving lives, finding cures, to generating revenue.

The Challenges with Blood Plasma Walk-in Freezers

Different Temperatures. The allowable temperature window for storage is different for different facilities. It depends on where the plasma is going and how it is going to be used. Plasma shipped within the U.S. often has different regulations than that shipped outside the country.
Monitoring systems. Federally regulated plasma donation centers have their own required monitoring systems to prevent reaching critical conditions. If they see a temperature increase, VASEY is called prior to the freezer reaching a critical state.
Unique equipment requirements. Walk-in plasma freezers are sized differently, operate differently, and have unique control systems due to the exceptionally cold temperatures required. They use specially designed defrost systems and require constant temperatures before, during and after doors are opened or closed.
Validation of the Boxes. If a plasma walk-in freezer reaches critical conditions and exceeds FDA protocol, the box (a.k.a. walk-in freezer) has to be revalidated or recertified. This means an FDA certified team is required to inspect the box, post-repair, over a specific period of time before it can be used again for storage. This can potentially mean seven to 14 days of potential downtime caused by the outage.

Tom Slagle, Vice President at VASEY shares, “These procedures are very specific and HIGHLY REGULATED.
It is important to follow SUPERIOR REFRIGERATION PRACTICES in order to maintain the delicate balance required. On these specialized systems, it’s more than just looking at a set of gauges.”

Why Choose VASEY?

Highly trained. At VASEY our team is highly trained and experienced with the care and maintenance of walk-in plasma freezers. Technicians have an average tenure of 10 plus years which equates to a detailed understanding of the operations and no loss of experience due to employee turnover.
Personalized attention. One of the primary reasons VASEY is successful in high-risk environments is due to our attention to detail and highly personalized care. With a thorough understanding of plasma walk-in freezers, VASEY closely monitors and effectively services this type of environment.
Proactive Maintenance. Due to the volatility and nature of blood plasma, proactive maintenance and knowing first-hand how to operate the systems is imperative. Due to the walk-in plasma freezers’ delicate balance and system intricacies, it’s essential to know how NOT TO CREATE PROBLEMS during servicing to avoid catastrophic failures.

"It’s a critical operating system. It runs on the ‘edge’ – just by nature – it’s very, very sensitive and if there’s anything that’s not set up correctly or adjusted properly, it shows quickly. Every system is finely tuned. If it’s not, problems start to snowball and that’s what we’re here to prevent," adds Slagle.

While every customer may not have the same critical conditions that exist with a plasma walk-in freezer, knowing that VASEY can effectively operate in such high-risk environments should provide peace of mind and an unwavering confidence in our other services and areas of expertise.

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Did You Know?
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