Breast milk storage in NICU

  1. 0
    For units using central breast milk storage for the unit:
    What kind of refrigerator do you use for breast milk? How is it organized, and how many beds does it serve? What do you like or dislike?
    Same question re freezers...what brand, how is it organized, how many beds in the unit?

    And of course, the most important question...does it meet the needs of the unit/staff?
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  4. 8 Comments so far...

  5. 1
    Plain old kitchen refrigerator, two doors (top freezer, bottom fridge).
    catlover314 likes this.
  6. 1
    hmm we have two HUGE (floor to ceiling) freezers. Organized alphabetically, each kid has a page in the log book and we write down when we add or take out bottles and how much is left in the freezer. Each kiddo then has their own mini-refrigerator in the room. 52 beds.

    The cardiac ICU also has a large freezer but not as big as the NICU's, it's poorly organized with people just throwing bags of bottles in no particular order :-( Then there is one small-ish fridge. 26 beds and not all of them are neonates but still, it could be more organized.

    I think the nicu was great for breastmilk storage. The cicu could do better
    catlover314 likes this.
  7. 2
    Some states may require you to go to a "lab grade" refrigerator and freezer. Our small (10 bed) unit had to do this. These have a graphic recorder which provided a weekly chart of temps. @ the very least, you should be checking the temps of both appliances Qshift and keep a log of the temperatures.

    Lab grade units are $$$$, but the quality control is built in--all we had to do was change the graph every week and keep them on file. And call maintanence when the "I'm not cold enough" alarm went off.

    We used plastic bins to "organize" the milk; for larger quantities of milk, the "patient belonging bags" work well.
    catlover314 and Bortaz, RN like this.
  8. 0
    Quote from umcRN
    hmm we have two HUGE (floor to ceiling) freezers. Organized alphabetically, each kid has a page in the log book and we write down when we add or take out bottles and how much is left in the freezer. Each kiddo then has their own mini-refrigerator in the room.
    Y'all always make me so envious. *sigh* ah, we'll. I'll move back to the 1st world in a few years.
  9. 0
    Many thanks for all the responses. I am looking at all options, including what regulations need to be met, but I appreciate more feedback and ideas. What you like, what you don't...that kind of thing.
  10. 1
    We are a smll unit, less than 50 beds, with 3 rooms. We have one large freezer for all the breast milk, (like a refrigerator, but it's just a freezer). East patient has their own bin and it's stored according to pumped date. Two rooms have a mini fridge. It works for us. No idea about the brands though
    catlover314 likes this.
  11. 2
    I'm not sure of the brand we use, but we have a large freezer and fridge in a separate room on the unit, the "Nutrition Room", to store every infant's milk. We have a tech in that room who is responsible for mixing fortifications, making 24 hr worth of feeds, and then distributing them near the infant's room on the unit. (We are a 66 bed unit, although our census is usually 30s-40s). Then, we have 3 different fridges in the unit that hold each section's milk. There are plastic bins labeled with the last name of each baby. I love having your own little fridge in your section so you wouldn't have to travel a ways to get milk.
    nicurn0213 and catlover314 like this.
  12. 1
    We are a 60 bed 5 pod unit. We have 4 huge freezers with bins that store milk. Each pod has a dorm fridge that stores milk for the patients in that room. Labeled bins are also used in these mini-fridges. All are monitored for temp and adjusted accordingly.
    catlover314 likes this.


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