Freezer malfunction leaves more than 2000 frozen eggs and embryos at risk
- Author: Ismael Montgomery Mar 10, 2018,
Mar 10, 2018, 0:42
University Hospitals, in Cleveland, has apologised following the fault at one of its fertility clinics last weekend.
"Some of the eggs and embryos that were stored date back decades", DePompei told WKYC. "Our fear is a significant number of embryos and eggs have been compromised". The incident could have affected over 2100 frozen eggs and embryos say the sources.
Hospital officials say more than 500 patients were affected, including some that provided samples in the 1980's.
All of the samples have been moved to another storage tank.
The dilemma for those involved is that their eggs and embryos have to be completely thawed to determine whether they are still viable, but if thawed, they can not be refrozen. None of the eggs or embryos will be destroyed, WKYC reported, and University Hospitals has reported the incident to federal regulators.
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"At this point, we do not know the viability of all of the stored eggs and embryos, although we do know some have been impacted", said Patti DePompei, the president of University Hospital Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital and UH MacDonald Women's Hospital, in a Facebook video announcing the news.
The typical process of storage or freezing of the eggs involves an extraction of the eggs from a woman after which it is stored in liquid nitrogen tanks in a cryogenic facility. The hospital is bringing in experts to assist. Right now, our patients come first. An American Society for Reproductive Medicine rep says nothing like this has ever happened at a U.S. fertility clinic. We are committed to getting answers and working with patients individually to address their concerns.
The facility has set up a call center for patients to arrange and appointment or calls to speak with their physicians. The line will be staffed by 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. The only way to know if they are still viable is to implant them says the hospital.
Eggs are frozen in order to postpone pregnancy.