Chemotherapy at home: Implementation of a temperature traceability system during transport

E. Penet, A. Cournède, A-L. Lepetit, A. Lagarde CHU Dupuytren, Service Pharmacie, Limoges, France


Following the increase in the number chemotherapy treatments managed by the public Home Hospitalisation system, the Cytotoxics Preparation Unit (CPU) is anxious to improve the conditions of transport of the preparations held at a temperature of between +2°C and +8°C. Hitherto, the products were transported in isothermal bags with refrigerating blocks but without any monitoring of the temperature. Transport time varies from 15 minutes to 2h30.

Matériel et méthodes:

The CPU is equipped with temperature recorders enabling immediate reading by the nurses (DEL) and deferred reading by the CPU (software). A total of 46 tests were performed to determine the frequency of recording of the appliances and how to prepare the isothermal bags (number and size of the refrigerating blocks) in order to maintain the temperature.


Given the minimum transport time, data must be recorded every 10 minutes to ensure at least 2 recordings. The most satisfactory results were obtained with 3 refrigerating blocks (230 ml) per bag, wrapped in bubble paper (17 tests). The target temperature interval was obtained on average after 67 minutes. The temperature was subsequently maintained within that interval for 170 minutes (mean temperature = 5.7°C).

Discussion - Conclusion:

As the results proved to be conclusive, this organisation was started on July 1, 2010 for home hospitalisation. The refrigerating blocks, wrapped in bubble paper, are placed in the isothermal bags at least 1 hour before dispensing. As a precautionary measure, the bags are placed in isothermal boxes inside air-conditioned vehicles. The recordings during the summer will or will not validate this organisation.

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