Frozen Eggs and Embryos No Longer Viable After Hospital Mishap?

Mar 11, 2018, 00:57
Frozen Eggs and Embryos No Longer Viable After Hospital Mishap?

University Hospitals is in crisis after it discovered more than 2,000 eggs and embryos may have been damaged or destroyed over last weekend.

The liquid nitrogen freezer held about 2,000 egg and embryo specimens, according to James Liu, chairman of the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UH Cleveland Medical Center.

"We are so very sorry this happened and we want to do all that we can to support our patients and families through this very hard time", DePompei said a video posted on Facebook Thursday.

University Hospitals issued a statement saying independent experts are being consulted to determine the cause of the malfunction.

"We will work with the patient one on one to understand her needs, understand how we might be able to offer some other avenue for her to achieve fertility, it may not be the exact thing that she had planned but we as physicians will work with the patient one on one and arrive at hopefully a way to help that individual", Dr. Liu said.

The fertility center apologized for the mistake and said it plans to investigate how it happened.

There is a call center available to answer questions and set up appointments. There has been a temperature fluctuation that may have damaged the stored eggs they said. These eggs are watched over using a video surveillance and an alarm system.

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.

As of now these eggs and embryos have been moved to a working tank.

Approximately 500 to 600 families were affected by the malfunction and University Hospitals have begun the tedious task of reaching out to all the families to see how they wish to proceed. They must be completely thawed to determine viability, but then can not be refrozen.

The average cost of fertility treatment can be around $10,000 so the financial impact is expected to be significant.

With more women deciding on a late motherhood, freezing eggs has become increasingly popular.

'Our hearts go out to the patients who have suffered this loss, ' said ASRM's chief policy officer, Sean Tipton, to NBC News.

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