Plasma storage freezers are not designed for the rapid cooling necessary to maximize yields of cryoprecipitate from Fresh Frozen Plasma (FFP), which must be frozen within 8 hours of collection. Fast temperature pulldown is the key to improved throughput and a better product when it comes to the universal need for a rapid cooling freezer.
Generally, there are two methods for bulk plasma preparatory freezing. The most prevalent is air-phase blast freezing, wherein plasma bags are loaded into a chamber and cooled with a high volume of low-temperature air. However, a newer, more innovative technique, known as Contact Shock Freezing, offers more advantages than air-phase processing.
Though both methods freeze plasma more rapidly than a freezer designed primarily for storage only, there are key differences between contact shock freezers and blast freezers. When blast freezers were initially introduced to the market, they offered the advantages of faster freezing times and rapid cooling that was far safer for personnel than dry ice. The result was quicker, safer yields. Since that time, however, demands for FFP and cryoprecipitate have continued to increase. What’s more, research has shown that plasma frozen more rapidly provides increased yields of cryoprecipitate.
Contact Shock Freezers offer significant advantages over conventional air phase blast freezers for rapid freezing of plasma and related products. Contact shock freezing uses refrigerated contact plates, rather than air phase cooling, on both sides of the bag to bring temperatures down to the desired temperature in a fraction of the time. Bags are placed at a slight angle and then uniformly frozen to ensure a reference bubble, which can be used to indicate inadvertent thawing once the plasma is stored. The plate freezing methodology also creates a flat, consistently frozen bag that can be more easily stored than bags from a blast freezer that might exhibit lumpiness.
Plasma Contact Shock Freezers from B Medical Systems are designed to help blood banks and blood transfusion centers increase yield, improve throughput from one load to the next, achieve the most efficient freezing times, and prepare plasma bags for long-term storage in conventional plasma freezers. Freeze times for 30 standard 350ml bags from ambient to -30°C are generally 30 minutes or less.
To learn more about the B Medical Systems Contact Shock Freezer, visit https://www.bmedicalsystems.com/en-us/solutions/blood-management/plasma-contact-shock-freezers/.