Veterinary Practices and Medical Fridges

Veterinary practices use a range of veterinary medical products which must be stored in a dedicated medical fridge

Veterinary practices store and administer a wide range of veterinary medical products (VMPs) to the animals that they see and treat.

Some of these VMPs can be stored at room temperature and inside a standard cabinet; products such as flea and worming tablets.

But other VMPs must be stored between a specific temperature range and in a secure unit that can be locked to prevent unauthorised access.

Indeed, the safe storage of VMPs forms part of the inspections carried out by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and the Veterinary Medicines Directorate.

For this reason, veterinary practitioners and practices must ensure that VMPs are stored correctly, especially those that need to be kept within a certain temperature range.

To do this, a dedicated medical fridge is required. While it may be tempting to use a standard fridge to save costs, they are not up to the job and would not pass inspection from the RCVS or VMD.

Standard fridges are simply inadequate and can lead to medicines becoming damaged and spoiled beyond the point of use, risking harm to animals and unnecessary replacement costs.

But what do veterinary practitioners and practices need to consider when it comes to choosing a medial fridge that meets their needs?

The first thing to consider is the size of the medical fridge you require. To do this, look at the volume of VMPs you stock and how much of it needs to be stored in a medical fridge.

This will allow you to determine whether you need a small, medium or large size medical fridge.

For guidance, a small fridge can sit below or on top of a counter or a desk while a medium sized fridge is about the size of a domestic dishwasher.

Large fridges are free standing and take up quite a lot of space but are only required if you store a large range of VMPs that require refrigeration.

The next decision to make is whether you require a fridge with a solid door or a glass door. The former provides added security while the latter allows you to see inside without opening the door.

You should also consider the accuracy of the temperature you wish to maintain within the fridge – our fridges come with state-of-the-art thermometers and alarms as standard.

That said, we also offer additional thermometers that actually measure the temperature of the vaccine and not just the temperature of the air inside the fridge.

While standard thermometers are absolutely sufficient, if you want to ensure the most accurate temperature recording then additional thermometers should be a consideration.

Security is also something that veterinary practitioners should take seriously when it comes to VMP storage in order to reduce the risk of loss or theft of medicines.

The majority of medical fridges come fitted with a lock as standard, but it is certainly worth checking if this is the case – CoolMed fridges do but others may not.

The lock means that only authorised members of the team can access VMPs stored in the fridge which in turn significantly mitigates the risk of theft.

The final thing to consider is budget. Some veterinary practitioners do not use medical fridges because they believe the cost of purchasing one to be prohibitive.

That is not the case, however. CoolMed medical fridges cost from as little as £449.99+VAT for a small medical fridge and £899.99+VAT for a medium fridge.

What’s more, veterinary practitioners really should see this as an investment in their practice and to ensure that the medicines they use and store are safe and fit for purpose. Speak to your local advisor