UH Fertility Clinic investigating failure involving eggs and embryos

11 March, 2018, 01:35 | Author: Colin Gill
  • UH Fertility Clinic investigating failure involving eggs and embryos

A temperature malfunction at a fertility clinic in the Cleveland area may have compromised the viability of more than 2,000 frozen eggs and embryos. It's only clear if an egg or embryo is damaged after it's been thawed and implanted.

"We don't know the reasons why yet, but we do know that the temperature that was measured at a portion of the tank was higher than our acceptable limits", DePompei said.

That means the hospital will have to sit down with more than 700 patients and decide how they want to proceed.

DePompei notes the temperature spike took place sometime between Saturday afternoon, when staff left for the day, and early Sunday. The temperature fluctuation may have compromised the viability of at least 2,100 frozen eggs and embryos and may have affected hundreds of families. "We are committed to getting answers and working with patients individually to address their concerns", the University Hospitals statement said. 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. "We've actually engaged an outside expert to analyze and drill down to see what actually happened", said Dr. James Liu, Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UH MacDonald Women's Hospital.

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University Clinic adds that it plans on doing the right thing by its patients and their families, but doesn't go into detail as to what that would entail. Removing and freezing a woman's eggs, for instance, can cost more than $10,000, on top of which, patients also pay annual storage fees. These eggs are watched over using a video surveillance and an alarm system.

All of the eggs and embryos have been moved to a working tank, with the hospital asserting that it won't destroy any of them. The line is staffed by nurse professionals from 7 a.m.to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday, and 8 a.m.to 1 p.m. on Saturday.

University Hospitals Fertility Center is responsible for the births of thousands of babies.

Egg freezing has grown in popularity, with more than 6,2000 women going through the procedure in 2015, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. The numbers since then have only risen.

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