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Re: [IP] Strip delivery



On Tue, 30 Nov 2004 09:16:01 -0500, you wrote:

>>
>>As I have stated several times before here, I despise mail order delivery.
>>Does anyone on the list know how well insulated a UPS truck is? I just got
>>off the phone with DiabetesSpecialists reassuring me (HA!) that my 13
>>containers of strips are safe sitting in the UPS truck for 7 days!! It has
>>been as low as 22*F during that time. The containers clearly say, Do Not
>>Freeze.

Jan,

 While I'm not a chemist, my dad was, and I do know a bit of such things. So far
as I know, the chemistry in modern test strips (old ones too) should not be
damaged by freezing temps.  Freezing temperatures, or their avoidance, are
primarly of interest to things involving water, which when it crystalizes, can
make a mess of things, as the water drops whatever it may have in solution when
it freezes, segregating the structures, and upon melting, there is no guarantee
things will be restored.  So this makes a mess of many sorts of organic things
who's structure gets messed up by water freezing.  But test strips, unlike
 insulin (or you and me), are rather carefully kept very dry. The vials all have
little packets or some other means of incorporating a dessicant (drying agent)
in the package for just this reason.  So far as I know, the strip itself is not
damaged by freezing itself.  In fact, well beyond food preservation, most
chemical reactions are greatly slowed by low temperature, and many types of
sensative chemistry is best stored at low temps to reduce reactivity, and thus
 degredation. Films and batteries are two examples that some to mind. But there
IS a potential problem, and that would occur if the vial is opened, or becomes
open (from cracking, etc), while still chilled too much, in that then
atmospheric air can carry moisture into the vial where it will condense on
 anything that's cold like that. I suspect that the risk of people taking stored
strips from the freezer and opening them before they'd fully warmed up to an
acceptable temperature again, is the reason for the temperature restriction.  I
seriously doubt that a short temp stint at too cold a temperature while in
 transit, would do any damage at all, and suspect that actual freezing storage
of
strips might, if it's done right, extend their useful life.  But it would have
to be done correctly to avoid damage.

Now, that's just my suspicion, based on experience with other chemical storage
questions, of what the situation is.  but it might be worth asking the
manufacturer's customer service rep to ask one of their engineers or something,
 whether this is actually the case. The rep on the phone no doubt just knows the
part line of "don't freeze", in order to avoid potential damage by people
opening the strips while too cold.  I suspect if that rep asks someone who
actually knows the strip construction and chemistry, they'd find that freezing
during shipping should not be an issue.

Also, keep in mind that the UPS or fedex driver who brings your mail order is
likely the same sort of fellow who dilivers strips to your local pharmacy, or
 from the manufacturer to the mail order firm. If low temps were of real concern
to the chemistry of the strip while kept dry, I suspect they would need to be
shipped in actual insulated containers no matter where or to whom they were
shipped, just like insulin requires special packaging.


cheers

Peter
.
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