Traditional specimen lockboxes are metal with little or no insulation. Often these lockboxes sit outside the doctor’s offices exposed to extreme hot and cold temperatures. Ambient seasonal temperatures are overlooked as a contributor to preanalytical variation and laboratory error, and to date, no guidelines or standards exist to improve this phase of the total testing process. In a recent study Dibbern and colleagues (Am J Clin Pathol 2021; 156:866-870), found significant negative effects of sample exposure to ambient temperature while stored in courier lockboxes. Working with California Innovations we created a prototype insulated courier lockbox insert with approximate dimensions of 12″ (L) x 9″ (W) x 12 (H)”. The lockbox had a Styrofoam lining but no other insulation We compared different high-density foam materials such as high density expanded polyethylene (EPE), high density ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), and a radiant barrier film laminate; EPE with radiant barrier film was chosen for testing. Air temperatures was monitored at the center of the lockbox. The insulated courier lockbox insert protects specimens for considerably longer than the lockbox alone. Click here to see the data and download a copy of the poster.
Poster presented at the 2022 Annual Meeting of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC): Insulated Insert for Specimen Lockboxes Offers Better Protection from Temperature Extremes
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