Albumin is the most plentiful protein found in the blood. A vital component of life, albumin is frequently used as a plasma volume expander to augment the body’s ability to recuperate after severe trauma. Albumin is frequently applied in the treatment of injury or burns, bleeding and low protein levels after surgery. This incredible protein also helps to preserve fluid balance by eliminating excess fluid from swollen tissues and redeploying it back into the bloodstream. When cells become dehydrated, albumin pulls fluid back into the tissues to maintain osmotic pressure. Produced in the liver, albumin also serves as a transportation vehicle by moving small molecules through the bloodstream, including hormones, medications and minerals so that they can reach every point in the body.
Safeguarding Albumin in the Supply Chain
Because albumin is so fragile and easily contaminated, it is essential that any distribution system that features albumin prioritizes patient safety and product efficacy. Industry experts have shown that important safeguards include pedigree verification systems that electronically display the chain of custody for every product shipped, to minimize the risk of counterfeiting. Another important safeguard is the ability to track products by lot number and provides timely recall notification to those affected. Companies who have their own specialty pharmacy to deliver products like albumin for the treatment of bleeding disorders, chronic illnesses and immune deficiencies can also benefit patients seeking security and peace of mind.
Filtration and Storage Concerns.
A common concern among healthcare providers is whether a filtration set is required for the administration of human serum albumin. In response, some companies who distribute albumin have created a downloadable Albumin Filtration Admin Set Chart which clarifies if a particular product needs a filtered administration set. For those products that do, or for healthcare providers that still have the need due to policy issues, administration sets can be provided with product orders.
Human serum albumin is a very delicate product that requires proper storage conditions in order to avoid contamination. Albumin should be stored away from moisture, light and heat and should not be frozen. It is also recommended that albumin be stored at room temperature at or below 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Any used portions of albumin should be discarded in order to maintain the products efficacy and purity.
Those who live with chronic health conditions have to deal with many challenges. From the difficulties involved in getting an accurate diagnosis and unpredictable symptoms and medication side effects, to dealing with insurance and reimbursement challenges surrounding the cost of care. Having a reliable resource and streamlined access to blood plasma products like albumin can minimize the stress and anxiety these patients deal with on a daily basis.
Maintaining best practices.
Distributors of products that come from human plasma have a great responsibility to healthcare providers and the patients who ultimately use the products. Maintaining a secure supply chain, tracking lot numbers and remaining poised to manage product recalls are all part of the distribution process. Additionally, ensuring optimal storage temperatures to maintain product efficacy is an essential best practice within the biopharmaceutical distribution industry.