SpotSee, vendor of supply chain temperature indicators used to monitor test specimens in the SARS and H1N1 virus outbreaks, has on Wednesday offered 20,000 temperature indicators to state health departments nationwide to assist with transporting test specimens of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
When testing for COVID-19, patients are swabbed in the nose and mouth at either a hospital, physician’s office, drive through test site or at home. That swab is then placed in a kit and sent to a pre-determined testing lab by a courier.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidelines, specimens must be refrigerated within a temperature range of 2-8°C, then processed within 72 hours after collection. Refrigerated samples greater than 72 hours old, or samples that exceed the temperature specification, are causes for rejection. Some major commercial labs have similar requirements but prefer specimens to be frozen at -20°C for shipping. If a delay in testing or shipping is expected, specimens can be stored at -70°C or below.
Failure to follow storage and transport guidelines will cause sample rejection, triggering re-tests that take valuable time (where disease can spread further), use valuable lab capacity and cost more money. Even worse, temperature excursions can cause the virus to die in transit, resulting in false negative results. If a false negative occurs, patients could believe they are not infected, allowing them to unknowingly spread the pandemic disease.
“As a Texas-based company, we want to do our part in helping maintain the health of our peers here and across the country, as well as our employees and their families,” said Tony Fonk, CEO, SpotSee. “At its core, SpotSee is about prevention, which is what we’re hoping to do by donating these monitors.”
SpotSee has several products to help in battling the spread of COVID-19. Its COVID-19 TempControl helps labs monitor if frozen samples have exceeded the CDC’s time or temperature guidelines, measuring thresholds between -18°C and 8°C.
The company also offers individual WarmMark indicators for other thresholds which can be used for different storage or transport scenarios. These cost-effective devices provide accurate, irreversible indication allowing labs to make quick decisions.
SpotSee’s temperature indicators are used throughout the world to ensure accurate results for shipping of various vaccines, biologics and specimens. By donating COVID-19 TempControl indicators, SpotSee aims to protect Americans, while reducing the risks associated with the spread of inaccurate information.