The platelet incubator resembles a simple storage cabinet with multiple levels of horizontal flatbed storing units, with a heating element and refrigerating element incorporated in the storage space. It also includes a temperature sensor and regulator, as well as mechanical agitator mechanisms, controlled by a central monitor and alarm system, usually for motion failure and any other possibility of putting platelets at risk. The functionally-modern addition to the platelet incubator is a digital inventory management system. It keeps track of expiration dates, temperature logs, and other necessary information for documentation purposes using a user-friendly touchscreen interface. In the event of a power outage, the unit can also survive using a battery backup.
– Default Set Temperature: 22ºC
– Bag Capacity: 8 – 16 Apheresis, 48 Random (8 Shelves)
– Dimensions: 25.5” x 26.5” 30.0”
– Weight: 67 lbs.
– Electrical: 115V, 1 Phase, 50-60Hz
Apparatus and Equipment
Blood collection for transfusion in hospitals and research laboratories follows a complex process of breaking whole blood down into its different components, namely, red blood cell extract, plasma, and platelets. After collection, these blood products must all undergo preservation procedures that ensure they can still be of use after being transported from place to place. Particularly, the key to preserving the in vivo viability of platelets is maintaining its pH levels above 6.2 (Naghadeh et al., 2013). Platelet concentrates must, therefore, be stored in platelet agitators or incubators, which are devices that provide continuous horizontal motion at specific temperature levels. In this way, the viability of platelets is preserved.
The platelet incubator is a device that provides accurate and steady storage conditions for platelet concentrates. It provides horizontal or vertical agitation at temperatures of 20 to 24 degrees Celsius, which guarantees that no clumps of platelet concentrates are formed during storage and transportation. Also, the important operational factors in platelet agitators and incubators are the number of strokes per minute at ideally 65 to 75, as well as the amplitude of each stroke at a recommended 3.6 to 4.0 cm (World Health Organization). Additionally, the apparatus also offers an organized inventory management system for keeping track of platelet inventories, especially regarding their expiration dates.
It can, therefore, be said that the platelet incubator is the primary instrument used in ensuring the proper storage of platelet concentrates for transfusion. It is a modern device that operates on the simply-stated scientific principle of maintaining pH levels through temperature control and constant agitation of material. Without its invention, maintaining the viability of platelet concentrates may be considered a much more challenging and time-consuming operation.
The successful use of platelet incubators is simple as long as the apparatus is maintained well, checked regularly, and kept in good condition. The platelet incubator is conveniently used as a storage cabinet for platelet concentrates, but with the added responsibility for researchers and healthcare practitioners to keep track of inventory, particularly the expiration dates and temperature logs.
Strengths and Limitations
This unit, unlike other platelet incubator models, can heat and cool without the use of a refrigerant or a compressor. It also comes in different sizes to fit in different available spaces and to accommodate large quantities of platelet concentrates at a time.
- The platelet incubator is a device that provides accurate and steady storage conditions for maintaining the viability of platelet concentrates
- It is a simple storage cabinet with multiple levels of horizontal flatbed storing units, with a heating element and refrigerating element incorporated in the storage space
- It has a temperature sensor and regulator designed to maintain temperatures at a steady 20 to 24 degrees Celsius
- It is also equipped with mechanical agitator mechanisms, controlled by a central monitor and alarm system for motion failure and other situations that may put the platelet concentrates at risk
- It has a digital inventory management system, which is used to conveniently keep track of expiration dates, temperature logs, and other necessary information for documentation purposes through a user-friendly touchscreen interface
- Naghadeh, H. T., Badlou, B. A., Ferizhandy, A. S., Mohammadreza, T. S., & Shahram, V. (2013). Six hours of resting platelet concentrates stored at 22–24 ºC for 48 hours in permeable bags preserved pH, swirling and lactate dehydrogenase better and caused less platelet activation. Blood Transfusion, 11(3), 400.
- World Health Organization. Manual on the management, maintenance and use of blood cold chain equipment. Geneva 2005.