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Temperature Excursions: How to handle them

4 Steps to Handle a Temperature Excursion

Every medical professional knows the importance of appropriate vaccine storage and handling, especially in terms of maintenance of recommended temperature. As per the CDC, a temperature excursion is ‘Any temperature reading outside ranges recommended in the manufacturers’ package’.

Temperature excursions can occur due to a variety of factors, such as malfunction in the storage unit, long power outages, unit door being left ajar and so on. These excursions can take a toll on the potency of the vaccines, leaving them ineffective.

In situations wherein a temperature excursion is observed, it is important to take corrective actions. These actions can avoid further damage to the lives of the patients due to ineffective vaccines. 

Listed below are 4 important steps recommended by the CDC in cases where a temperature excursion of a vaccine storage unit is detected.

Notifying the In-Charge

As soon as an excursion is detected, the immediate supervisor needs to be notified about it. It is recommended for each institution to appoint a Vaccine Coordinator who is tasked with ordering vaccine, maintaining vaccine inventory, and also handling vaccine expiry or damage. 

It is the duty of the vaccine coordinator to take necessary steps to avoid further damage by contacting the manufacturer regarding the excursion. They would also be responsible for ensuring that the other staff is notified to not use the potentially damaged vaccine. Even though the vaccine may seem damaged, it should be stored within the unit itself and not be discarded before confirming the course of action with the manufacturer. Read more >

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