Case Study: University of Rochester –Strong Memorial Hospital – A New Way to Store Blood

Blood is a building block of life. Without it, we would not be able to function. Storing blood, however, is an intricate & highly regulated process that hospitals sometimes dedicate entire buildings for. For the University of Rochester – Strong Memorial Hospital (hereafter URMC), updates were in order for their blood storage activities.

Located in Rochester, New York, URMC is the nation’s top exemplary teaching hospital with advanced scientific proficiencies, robust patient care services & formidable community relations. Skilled medical clinicians supervise residents & participate in the education of residents & students. The result is a learning environment immersed in research, education, community & innovation.

Many of URMC’s specialty programs consistently rank among “America’s Best Hospitals” & earned top honors in the first-ever “Best Regional Hospitals” 2010-11 ranking according to U.S. News & World Report.

So, how did our equipment end up in this prestigious facility? Here’s the full story.

Project Premise

In the past, URMC’s blood lab was located in a separate building. After some deliberations, the blood lab was to be re-located within the hospital building itself. This meant that all new equipment would have to be purchased & installed to complete the project.

The old blood lab was using outdated food service grade walk ins complete with a typical refrigeration system & an exterior floor ramp. The newly constructed blood lab would include stainless reinforced floors, interior ramps, redundant refrigeration systems & new chart recorders for temperature logging. Here’s a quick before & after look at the blood lab at URMC:

But, the question of how to store the blood packets then came into play.

The existing walk-ins utilized standard wire shelving. Although this is typical of most hospitals, it did pose one major problem: blood packets in the back area of the shelving were difficult to reach. Here’s a look at the previous wire shelving that was used to store blood packets:

IMC/Teddy was eager to engineer an attractive solution that would make life simpler for URMC’s staff.

The IMC/Teddy Solution

We were approached by our rep, Joe Wilson at J. Wilson Marketing, who connected us to a well-known food service dealer regarding the development of a “blood shelf” – a combination shelving & rack unit with pull out drawers. These blood shelves would be located inside of the newly constructed URMC walk-ins. 

The integrated pull-out pan type drawers would solve the problem of having to grab those hard-to-reach blood packets found in the rear of the shelving unit.

In addition, having an entire shelving unit tip over with blood packets stored on it would be a nightmare. This is why IMC/Teddy developed “no-tip” brackets with reinforcements so the shelving unit would not be able to fall down. 

This was a unique application with a 100% custom design, something IMC/Teddy is accustomed to.

IMC/Teddy supplied seventeen (17) of these blood shelves with the following specifications:

  • 18-Gauge Type 300 Series Stainless Steel Construction
  • Sliding Pan Type Shelves, 12″/12½” OC, Crossbracing
  • Legs w/ Casters (2) w/ Brakes
  • “No-tip” Reinforcement Brackets
  • Dimensions: 24½”D x 51½”W x 74″H

Here’s a quick breakdown of the unique IMC/Teddy blood shelf:


As of August 2020, the new URMC blood lab is fully operational with IMC/Teddy’s blood shelves installed inside of the new walk-ins. Here’s a gallery of one of those fresh new walk-ins:

The IMC/Teddy & J. Wilson Marketing teams are proud to have participated in this project & we believe the staff at URMC will put the new shelves to good use as they continue to help residents & patients. To learn more about URMC’s blood bank & transfusion programs, click here. To learn more about IMC/Teddy’s custom stainless steel solutions, click here.

*Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of IMC/Teddy. Our content is intended to be used and must be used for informational purposes only. Please contact IMC/Teddy directly if you would like to feature this post on your webpage. Thank you.

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