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Frozen Eggs and Embryos No Longer Viable After Hospital Mishap?

09 March 2018

An incident over the weekend caused temperatures to rise in a tissue storage bank at the University Hospitals Fertility Clinic.

Dr. James Liu, chair of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at UH Cleveland Medical Center, told that so far the affected eggs and embryos that were thawed because of already scheduled medical procedures this week were not viable. Due to the temperature fluctuation at the facility, the viability of the stored eggs and embryos may be in danger.

"Clearly the circumstance that happened here is destroying for the families included, and it's staggering for our doctors and our medical attendants and our staff too", said DePompei. The problem was discovered Sunday morning and happened some time after staff left the previous afternoon, according to Patti DePompei, president of UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital and MacDonald Women's Hospital.

"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", Patti DePompei, president of University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital and MacDonald Women's Hospital, said in a video posted on Facebook Thursday.

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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.

Women and families choose to freeze their eggs or embryos for a number of reasons to try and have a baby at a later date.

All of the samples have been moved to another storage tank. "We are committed to getting answers and working with patients individually to address their concerns", the University Hospitals statement said.

"Right now, our patients come first".

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In the case of the UH Fertility Center's compromised eggs, patients will only know if their eggs or embryos are still viable by implanting them. Most women need many more rounds to even become pregnant.

University Hospitals issued a statement saying independent experts are being consulted to determine the cause of the malfunction. The cost of the procedure range from at least $12,000 to $14,000.

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

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Frozen Eggs and Embryos No Longer Viable After Hospital Mishap?