University Hospitals increases security at fertility clinic after embryo freezer malfunctions

Frederick Owens
March 10, 2018

Hundreds of families' dreams of having a baby using frozen eggs or embryos may have been dashed due to a storage tank malfunction at an OH fertility center. The eggs and embryos the had frozen at the clinic may no longer be viable.

All of the samples have been moved to another tank, which is being monitored at all hours and maintained at the correct temperature.

"We are so very sorry this happened".

In comments underneath the video message, people expressed frustration and heartbreak at the potential loss of the embryos and eggs, which represented not only a significant financial and medical commitment, but the hope of expanding families.

The failure resulted in the temperature in the tank becoming warmer than it should be, which means numerous eggs and embryos in the tank may no longer be viable, according to Patti DePompei, president, UH MacDonald Women's Hospital and UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital.

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In it, hospital officials explain that a freezer failure caused about 2,000 eggs and embryos to potentially become compromised. They said in a statement, "Right now, our patients come first". "We are committed to getting answers and working with our 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 only way to know if they are still viable is to implant them says the hospital. 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. These are still preserved and would not be destroyed, the hospital said in a statement. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ARSM), as many as 6200 women froze their eggs in 2015.

On average, freezing eggs can cost between $12,000 and $14,000.

The error has affected about 700 families who have been notified of the situation.

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