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

Gladys Abbott
March 11, 2018

'But we do know that the temperature that was measured at a portion of the tank was higher than our acceptable limits'. The frozen eggs and embryos play a crucial part in the whole process, but they have to be stored in certain conditions and at certain temperatures to remain viable.

"We are bringing in independent experts to ensure we understand all aspects of this occurrence and do everything possible to address the situation", the clinic said in a statement. However, the only way to know if an embryo is still viable is to thaw and implant it.

A call center has also been set up to arrange personal meetings or calls with physicians.

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.

All of the samples have been moved to another storage tank at the facility. About 2,000 eggs and embryos from 700 patients are stored there. The cryogenic facilities where the eggs are stored are typically monitored with video surveillance and alarm systems. "Right now, our patients and families are our first priority". The line is 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. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ARSM), as many as 6200 women froze their eggs in 2015.

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University Hospitals is considering waiving fees for any future procedures for anyone who had eggs or embryos stored, according to WEWS future.

University Hospitals Fertility Center is responsible for the births of thousands of babies. The costs of freezing eggs is somewhere around $12,000 to $14,000. "And we want to do all that we can to support our patients and families through this hard time", said the clinic.

"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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