Case Studies

Remote Temperature Monitoring System Protects Blood Supplies In Dorset


A sophisticated electronic monitoring system, believed to be the first system of its kind in any UK blood storage facility, is being used to ensure the integrity of blood supplies within the West Dorset General Hospitals NHS Trust. Based on a number of Eurotherm 5100V Data Acquisition Units (DAQs), the system remotely monitors blood storage temperature and usage at a number of blood banks operated by the Trust in the West Dorset area.

Designed and engineered by Bridport based data monitoring specialists Preset Calibration Services Limited, the system uses four 5100V DAQs to monitor low temperature storage facilities at the Dorset County Hospital at Dorchester, as well as two satellite banks at Trust hospitals in Sherborne and Blandford.

Two of the instruments are used to monitor storage temperatures at the main blood bank in the Pathology Department at Dorchester, as well as a secondary blood bank on one of the hospital wards. Alarm outputs from both DAQs are connected directly to the hospital alarm ring main circuits. The use of Eurotherm proprietary Bridge 5000 remote viewing software allows authorised hospital staff to view either of the instruments at any time, from any designated computer in the hospital via the local intranet.

In addition, all recorded data is uploaded once daily to the hospital’s central Server computer using the same data network.

The main blood bank, situated in the Pathology department, is monitored using a single 5100v 12 Channel DAQ. Two channels are used to monitor stored blood temperature and also the air temperature in the storage fridge. The remaining ten channels are used to monitor other fridges and freezers throughout the department. The hospital’s secondary (ward based) blood bank is also monitored, using a separate six-channel 5100v DAQ unit in which two active channels are used to monitor blood and air temperatures within the blood storage cabinet. Temperature records from the blood banks are automatically up loaded to the Hospital’s FTP Server each day at midnight.



Remote Temperature Monitoring System Phase II


The great success of the Blood Bank systems that was designed and installed by PreSet Calibration Services Limited for the main blood bank in the Pathology Department at Dorchester Hospital, Maternity Department, Ridgeway Theatre, as well as two satellite blood banks at Sherborne & Blandford Trust Hospitals in 2002 has resulted in Phase Two of the system being commissioned.

This phase during 2005 involved a further five hospital sites (Lyme Regis, Portland, Weymouth, Bridport and Winterbourne) Winterbourne being in the private sector, and they all operate securely over the NHS Intranet or Internet.

This phase took advantage of Eurotherms second-generation data recorders, 6100A DAQ’s, which are fully integrated into the already existing system and are backwardly compatible with the original 5100V DAQs systems that are already installed in Dorchester, Blandford and Sherborne from phase one.

With these additional sites being added to the Blood Bank hospital network it now means that a vast area of West Dorset is being monitored and controlled by the main site in Dorchester.

It is no longer necessary for staff from Dorchester main blood bank to visit the satellites, other than on an adhoc basis, because of the ability of the main Dorchester Blood Bank to monitor in real time all the satellites.

In addition to staff at Dorchester Hospital Blood Bank accessing all of the other hospital sites, engineers from PreSet Calibration Services can also remotely connect to the Blood Bank system to assist with faults and system issues.

A support and maintenance package is in place and this involves three monthly system checks and tests by PreSet Calibration Services, which is carried out remotely. An annual site visit is included in the maintenance package, which includes onsite service & UKAS Calibration of all the DAQ units.