Ask the expert: Storing specimens with medications

By: February 29th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: We are aware that specimens cannot be stored with food, but is it okay to store blood, urine, and other specimens in the same refrigerator and/or freezer with medications?

A: No. “Store patient food, medications, and specimens in separate, labeled refrigerators,” according to the APIC’s Infection Control in Ambulatory Care.

“Glucose beverages may be stored in the medication or the patient food refrigerator, but never in the specimen refrigerator,” the book adds.

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In case you get asked this question.


I have forwarded this information to Sonya.

By Bruce Cunha on March 6th, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Question we get is. Is it ok to store a sealed vial of medication in a food refrigerator?

We have areas that have one or two meds that are single use and dedicating a refrigerator for that few is a real problem.

I have seen were meds were allowed if in a sealed plastic container.

Please be more specific about where the recommendation/standard is for the storage of specimens with medications. Does this apply to physicians offices?

By David LaHoda on March 8th, 2012 at 2:37 pm

The reference is from APIC’s Infection Control in Ambulatory Care, and appears in the Physician Offices and Clinics chapter.

I added the reference in the post.

By Carolyn on May 8th, 2012 at 5:40 pm

Can Hep. B vaccines be stored in the same refrigerator as blood products?

By Raed Khoury on August 9th, 2018 at 7:25 pm

Can blood units (for transfusion) be stored in a medication refrigerator?

Can vaccines be stored in the same refrigerator as medication samples [insulin]? Thanks


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