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Malfunction At Freezing Facility Could Have Damaged Thousands Of Frozen Eggs, Embryos

11 March 2018, 01:35 | Lucy Hill

Inc. All rights rese

Inc. All rights rese

Thousands of frozen eggs and embryos were likely destroyed when temperatures spiked in a storage tank at a nationally renowned OH fertility clinic, according to hospital officials and reports Friday.

It is exacerbated by the fact that the only way to determine if the specimens are viable is to thaw them, Liu told the Plain Dealer. The hospital hasn't said whether it would compensate about 700 affected patients.

In a statement it said it did not yet know if any of the 2000 eggs and embryos could still be used. "And we want to do all that we can to support our patients and families through this hard time", said the clinic. 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.

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

Between the overnight hours of Saturday, March 3 and Sunday, March 4, one of the egg and embryo liquid nitrogen storage tanks began warming up. The cryogenic facilities where the eggs are stored are typically monitored with video surveillance and alarm systems.

Patients are encouraged to call the hotline at 216-286-9740, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m.to 8 p.m., and Saturday from 8 a.m. though 1 p.m.

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Prior to surgery, she underwent fertility treatment at University Hospitals to harvest eggs for her future.

Eggs are frozen in order to postpone pregnancy.

The average cost of fertility treatment can be around $10,000 so the financial impact is expected to be significant. Sean Tipton, chief policy officer at ASRM expressed his sympathy for the affected families and said the organization would look into the matter ensuring this is not repeated.

"We're working very, very hard to try to support them through what is understandably incredibly challenging situation, and we're working very hard to come up with more definitive answers for specific questions they may have as it relates to their own family", DePompei said.

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



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