Refrigerator Temperature

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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Medical Courier Safety. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Refrigerator Temperature

Some specimens must be kept refrigerated following collection to avoid changes that will affect the test results. Laboratory refrigerators are kept at 4°C, with an acceptable range of 2-8°C. So, refrigerated specimens must be maintained between 2-8ºC during transportation.
The courier is responsible for assuring the coolers maintain the specified temperature noted on the cooler. Insulated coolers must have a tight-fitting lid and maintain refrigerator temperature.
Methods for transporting specimens needing to be refrigerated include:
  • Plastic cooling blocks that hold blood collection tubes.
  • Plastic cups with a slurry of wet ice and water. Tubes or cups must never be inserted into a cup of ice as this may result in super cooling and freezing at the tube or cup surface, invalidating the test results.
  • Frozen gel packs with a layer of insulating material separating the ice pack and the specimen, such as several layers of paper towels or absorbent materials.
  • Insulated coolers that must have a tight-fitting lid and maintain refrigerator temperature.
2. “Fahrenheit and Celsius Temperature Range .” Wikimedia Commons,

Refrigerator temperature range (2).