Published: Mon, March 12, 2018
Arts&Culture | By Antoinette Montgomery

Second US fertility clinic reports egg storage tank malfunction

Second US fertility clinic reports egg storage tank malfunction

CBS Cleveland affiliate WOIO-TV reports that a class action suit was being filed by one couple involved against University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center.

An Ohio hospital where approximately 2,000 frozen eggs and embryos may have been damaged by a storage tank malfunction has apologized to patients and said it will do "everything possible to address the situation".

The hospital system revealed last week that a problem in one of two large freezers preserving specimens at the UH Fertility Center housed at the Ahuja Medical Center in Beachwood was discovered on the morning of March 4.

The pair of incidents, with powerful emotional and financial consequences, come as the number of US women freezing their eggs has soared in recent years as assisted reproductive technology has advanced and become increasingly popular.

The equipment was immediately retired and the facility is now operating securely, according to the statement. According to ABC News, the tank at Pacific Fertility Center in California had a temperature fluctuation with the inventory of egg and embryo assets. Others, whose specimens were unaffected, were also notified.

The clinic's president, Carl Herbert, told the Washington Post that staff had spent days sorting through records to establish which patients had tissue inside the affected storage tank, before clinic doctors called them. Herbert could not be reached by The Chronicle for comment. Many patients demanding answers and majority still think how this could happen.

"Anger is a big part of the phone call", Herbert told the Post.

"We are incredibly sorry this happened", the hospital said in a statement.

The clinic is uncertain how numerous eggs and embryos are damaged, he said, and can't be used for in-vitro fertilization.

Herbert told the Post, "This was a bad incident, but I was reassured that".

The eggs and embryos in tank #4 had been in storage for as long as 10 years, though the tank still was in active use, Herbert said.

According to the clinic's website, its fees for egg freezing are $8,345 for the initial cycle and $6,995 for each subsequent round.

Sean Tipton, chief policy, development and advocacy officer for the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, which represents people working in fertility clinics, said the first priority is to work with patients to see if some of their eggs or embryos were stored in other tanks or at other facilities. With two occurring nearly simultaneously, he said, further investigation is necessary. "There are a lot of questions we need to find out answers to so we can prevent these occurrences from happening again".

Like this: