Cleaning requirements for blood fridges

Earlier this year a NSW Health Pathology laboratory discarded a significant supply of red blood cells after mold was detected in a cool room where the red cells were being stored.

The Transfusion Clinical Stream has reviewed the circumstances of this incident and provides the following advice to NSW Health Pathology laboratories that store blood and blood products:

  • Red cells stored by NSW Health Pathology should NOT be stored in cool rooms. They should only be stored in appropriate medical refrigeration units (fridges).
  • All labs that store blood and blood products must ensure they comply with the minimum cleaning requirements as per Australian Standard AS3864.2-2012 - Medical Rrefrigeration equipment.
  • The Transfusion Clinical Stream has reviewed the Standard and determined the minimum cleaning requirements are sufficient and no additional cleaning measures are necessary.

Please ensure your laboratory staff are aware of the minimum requirements set out in the above-mentioned Standard and that your lab adheres to those.

If you have questions about the cleaning requirements or blood storage practices in your lab, please contact:

  • Mark Dean, Chair of the NSW Health Pathology Transfusion Clinical Stream, on 02 43203894.