Since its inception, Lifesharing, a non-profit organ procurement organization, has saved over 7,000 lives through organ donation and helped thousands with tissue donations. The Operations Director, who has worked for this organization for nearly two decades, has been using Vaisala's viewLinc system to monitor storage chambers and processing areas - including through the use of alarms. Freezers and refrigerators store tissue donations and research equipment as well as chemical agents intended for perfusion and sterilization carriers for cell preservation. In all the years that the viewLinc system has been used, it has been found to protect valuable materials that would otherwise have been lost.
"Once, viewLinc sent an alarm in the middle of the night. One of the freezers seemed to reach a temperature threshold, "says Celestin. "We have confirmed the alarm in viewLinc and then waited a short time to see if the freezer is reset. That was not the case and we spent the whole night shifting materials into other freezers. In that case, the system saved thousands, maybe tens of thousands of organ perfusion agents that would have been destroyed. "It was later discovered that a sensor in the freezer was covered in ice. The freezer's mechanism to stop condensation was broken. Although this was not a catastrophic device failure, uncontrolled temperature variation would have been sufficient to destroy some or all of the cooled materials. In addition to alerting, viewLinc also takes temperature records for regulatory purposes.
"Our temperature records are always available at short notice," says the Operations Director. "We are inspected and audited at federal and state level, and our partners expect our records to be continuous and safe. My reports are emailed to me every week by viewLinc, so I keep track of them all the time and are ready for an inspection. "Regulation and accreditation are critical to ensuring the quality of tissues and organs. Lifesharing recently relocated its premises and increased the number of refrigerators, freezers and processing areas. After 17 years in one location, the organization moved to a new building designed specifically for their growing operations.
During the move, all data loggers monitoring the storage chambers remained in place. "Everything was easy with Vaisala dataloggers," explains Celestin. "I hear something different from my colleagues in other organizations, because a change of location can be a real logistical challenge in terms of temperature recordings. We were glad that our data loggers continued to record and that our temperature records were kept on track. "Since 2017, 119 053 people in the US have been waiting for an organ donation. There is hope, because donations have been on the rise for decades, and organ transplants have increased by almost 20% in the last five years. Procurement and transplantation technology is improving thanks to research and increasing awareness of donations.