The Role Medical Refrigeration Plays in Insulin Storage

Graphic by CoolMed showing a person injecting insulin to help with diabetes

This week marks Diabetes Week within the UK.

Approximately 400,000 people are currently living with type 1 diabetes in the UK, including around 29,000 children. The number of new diagnoses of type 1 diabetes is increasing by 4% each year.

Devoted to raising awareness of diabetes and helping to fund research into the condition, Diabetes Week runs from 12th to 18th June.

Insulin and Diabetes

For millions of people around the world living with type 1 diabetes, insulin is a lifeline.

Insulin allows type 1 diabetics to manage their blood sugar levels effectively, so it’s crucial to shed light on the vital role refrigeration plays in insulin storage. Proper storage and handling of insulin are paramount to maintain its potency and ensure optimal treatment outcomes.

Here’s why effective refrigeration is crucial for insulin storage and information on how individuals can take steps to protect their insulin supply…

Insulin’s Susceptibility to Temperature

Insulin is a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels. It is sensitive to extreme temperatures, both high and low, which can significantly affect its efficacy.

Exposing insulin to heat can lead to protein denaturation, rendering it ineffective or even harmful. Conversely, freezing temperatures can cause insulin to degrade, leading to a loss of potency. Therefore, maintaining a stable and controlled temperature is essential for preserving the medication’s integrity.

The Importance of Insulin Fridge Storage

Refrigeration provides a consistent and cool environment for insulin storage, safeguarding its potency. Insulin storage temperature should ideally be between +2°C and +8°C.

Medical refrigerators offer a controlled climate that helps protect the medication from exposure to extreme heat or cold. When stored within this temperature range, insulin can retain its effectiveness until the expiration date indicated on the packaging.

Tips for Correct Insulin Storage:

To ensure the longevity and effectiveness of insulin, you should follow these 5 essential tips for effective insulin storage:

1. Keep refrigerated: Keep refrigerated between +2°C and +8°C to ensure insulin retains its effectiveness.

2. Avoid freezing or extreme cold: Never store insulin in a freezer or expose it to freezing temperatures. Insulin should not be allowed to reach temperatures below +2°C.

3. Prevent heat exposure: Keep insulin away from direct sunlight, heating vents, stoves, or other sources of heat. Excessive heat can degrade the medication and render it ineffective.

4. Check expiration dates: Regularly inspect insulin vials or pens for expiration dates. Discard any medication that has expired, as its potency may be compromised.

5. Carry a cooling pack: When traveling or outside the home, use a cooling pack specifically designed for insulin storage to maintain the required temperature range.

6. Consult healthcare professionals: If unsure about proper insulin storage, seek guidance from healthcare providers or diabetes educators. They can offer valuable advice tailored to individual needs.

Medical Fridges & Insulin Storage

Using a dedicated medical refrigerator to store insulin offers certain advantages that can help ensure the medication’s efficacy and safety.

Here are 3 reasons medical fridges are more reliable for storing insulin when compared to standard commercial refrigerators:

1. Temperature control & monitoring: Medical refrigerators are specifically designed to provide precise temperature control and stability. They have more advanced cooling systems and temperature sensors, which help maintain a consistent temperature range within the recommended +2°C to +8°C for insulin storage.

At CoolMed, our medical fridges are also equipped with alarms that alert users if the temperature deviates from the desired range.

2. Accurate temperature display: Medical fridges typically have digital temperature displays that allow for easy monitoring of the internal temperature.

This feature enables users to quickly identify any temperature fluctuations and take appropriate action if necessary.

3. Additional security features: At CoolMed, all our medical fridges are supplied with in-built door locks to provide reliable access control. This help to ensure insulin safety.

Contact Us

Diabetes Week UK serves as a crucial reminder of the impact of diabetes on millions of lives. Proper storage of insulin is vital for those living with diabetes to maintain their health and well-being. Refrigeration plays an indispensable role in safeguarding insulin’s effectiveness, providing a controlled environment that protects against temperature extremes.

If you’d like to speak to a member of our team regarding insulin storage, or would like further information on how our specially designed medical fridges can help to keep your insulin supply safe, please call us on 0161 772 5666, or email us at Our team will be happy to help!