Eggs stored at a fertility clinic in danger due to a malfunction

10 March, 2018, 02:02 | Author: Jared Lewis
  • UH Fertility Clinic investigating failure involving eggs and embryos

The University Hospital Fertility Center in Cleveland has a long-term storage tank containing liquid nitrogen that suffered equipment failure over the weekend.

Patti DePompei, president of University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital and MacDonald Women's Hospital, called the situation "absolutely devastating".

In a statement it said it did not yet know if any of the 2000 eggs and embryos could still be used.

UH Fertility Clinic investigating failure involving eggs and embryos
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DePompei said the temperature fluctuation had occurred "due to reasons unknown" and that the hospital had launched a major investigation to find out what happened.

"Until we know the issue that caused this we will be monitoring the tank 24/7", Liu told Cleveland.com. Patients were notified beginning Tuesday but the hospital shared the problem with news media Thursday evening.

The fertility center apologized for the mistake and said it plans to investigate how it happened. "We are working painstakingly to decide how we can best help them through the procedure", said DePompei. The eggs and embryos the had frozen at the clinic may no longer be viable. Some of these eggs and embryos have been stored in there for decades.

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The incident happened between Saturday night and Sunday morning, after staff had left for the evening.

The hospital said it's conferring with experts about why the storage tank malfunctioned.

Right now, hospital officials do not know how numerous eggs and embryos are viable, only that a number have been impacted. Per a University Hospitals statement cited by News 5 Cleveland, the facility has "initiated contact with all of our patients", and a call center has been set up so patients can set up meetings with doctors.

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"Right now, our patients come first".

In order to determine if the embryos and eggs have been impacted, they'll have to unfreeze them. It has also moved the eggs and embryos to a working tank.

On average, freezing eggs can cost between $12,000 and $14,000. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ARSM), as many as 6200 women froze their eggs in 2015. But she's one of almost 700 patients impacted by the cryo chamber malfunction that occurred at UH's Fertility Clinic last weekend.

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"Our hearts go out to the patients who have endured this misfortune", said Sean Tipton, boss strategy officer at ASRM.

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