Eurotherm's DAQ system monitors blood storage temperatures in U.K.

Leesburg, VA; London, U.K.—Invensys plc's Eurotherm unit announced May 27 that it has supplied an innovative blood monitoring system to U.K.-based West Dorset General Hospitals NHS Trust to help ensure the integrity of the facilities' blood supplies.


Leesburg, VA— Eurotherm announced May 27 that it has supplied an blood monitoring system to the U.K.-based West Dorset General Hospitals NHS Trust. Reportedly the first system of its kind in a blood storage facility, this electronic system helps ensure the integrity of the hospital's blood supplies. A unit of Invensys plc (London, U.K.), Eurotherm manufactures industrial instrumentation for the process control and data acquisition industries.

Based on the company's Eurotherm 5100V data acquisition units (DAQs), the system also remotely monitors blood storage temperature and use at several blood banks operated by the trust in the West Dorset area. The system was designed and engineered by Preset Calibration Services Ltd. (Bridport, U.K.), which specializes in data monitoring. The blood monitoring system uses four Eurotherm 5100V DAQs to monitor low-temperature storage facilities at Dorset County Hospital (Dorchester, UK), and at two satellite banks at the trust's hospitals in Sherborne and Blandford.

Mark Hamblin, West Dorsett General Hospital Trust's head biomedical scientist, reports that he's delighted with the system's performance. He believes that the remote monitoring and data logging approach will be popular with other blood storage facility operators. 'Since commissioning the system in the summer of 2002, we've been able to track storage temperatures accurately, even at remote locations,' says Hamblin. 'This has improved operational efficiency, raised confidence and saved a lot of staff time. We believe that similar solutions will find favor at other sites, and in view of this we believe it is also under serious consideration by our colleagues at the National Blood Transfusion Service.'

The main blood bank, in the Pathology department, is monitored using one Eurotherm 5100V 12-channel DAQ. Two channels are used to monitor stored blood temperature and also the air temperature in the storage fridge. The remaining 10 channels are used to monitor other fridges and freezers throughout the department. The hospital's secondary blood bank is also monitored, using a separate six-channel Eurotherm 5100V DAQ unit in which two active channels are used to monitor blood and air temperatures in the blood storage cabinet. Temperature records from the blood banks are automatically uploaded to the hospital's FTP server each night.

Six-channel instruments monitor the two satellite blood banks at Sherborne and Blandford. In each case, two channels are used to monitor the blood temperature and the air temperature in the storage enclosure in exactly the same way as at the main blood bank. Data from both banks is again automatically uploaded to the central FTP server each day.

As with the central DAQs, both instruments here monitor blood and air temperature to the same preset limits. However, in this case alarm outputs activate a telephone auto-dialer, which calls a list of predetermined numbers. A pre-recorded spoken message indicates which alarm has been activated and at which satellite location. The auto-dialer will continue to ring the predefined numbers until answered and cancelled by a code input by the authorized person answering.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor

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