Case scenario

Penny, a pharmacist, is appointed and responsible for cold chain management in the pharmacy where she works. On a Saturday evening, Penny receives an alert to her mobile phone indicating there has been a cold chain breach. Penny was about to go out to dinner with her friends; however, she knows that timely management of a cold chain breach is vital for optimising vaccine and temperature-sensitive medicine viability and reducing the cost of replacing stock.

Penny informs her friends that she will be late for dinner and immediately visits the pharmacy. On arrival, the purpose-built dispensary refrigerator alarm is sounding loudly. Penny can see that the refrigerator door has been inadvertently left open. Penny closes the door. Penny then follows the pharmacy’s cold chain breach protocol. Information about the duration of the breach period was downloaded from the data logger, the minimum and maximum temperatures during the breach were also recorded. All stock was isolated and clearly marked ‘Do not use’, and kept refrigerated between +2 °C and +8 °C.

Learning objectives

After successful completion of this CPD activity, pharmacists should be able to:

  • Discuss cold chain management and its importance

  • Define the ‘strive for 5’ principle

  • Summarise requirements for cold ch

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