A malfunction over the weekend at a Cleveland fertility clinic may appreciate destroyed more than 2,000 stored eggs and embryos, affecting hundreds of families.
The temperature rose in a tank of liquid nitrogen late Saturday, where frozen eggs and embryos were stored, damaging their viability.
“At this point, we effect not know the viability of full of the stored eggs and embryos, although we effect know some appreciate been impacted,” said Patti DePompei, the president of University Hospital (UH) Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and UH MacDonald Women’s Hospital, in a Facebook video announcing the news.
Around 700 families appreciate been contacted to be informed their stored eggs and embryos may be affected, with letters sent out to families this week, according to Cleveland.com. Some people had multiple samples stored, and some eggs and embryos appreciate been stored since the 1980s.
The only way to check whether an egg or embryo is viable is to thaw it, which is only done when it is to be used imminently. Dr. James Liu, chairman of the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UH Cleveland Medical Center, told Cleveland.com that so far the affected eggs and embryos that were thawed because of already scheduled medical procedures this week were not viable.
DePompei said the temperature fluctuation had occurred “due to reasons unknown” and that the hospital had launched a major investigation to find out what happened.
“We are bringing in independent experts to ensure we understand full aspects of this occurrence and effect everything possible to address the situation,” the clinic announced in a statement.
These stored eggs and embryos may in some cases appreciate been the only option for a woman or couple to appreciate a biological child. Eggs and embryos are stored for a multitude of reasons, including women freezing their eggs while young to aid fertility, people undergoing IVF or fertility treatments and those who underwent egg removal or embryo fertilization prior to cancer treatment or other medical procedures.
“We are so very sorry this happened. And we want to effect full that we can to support our patients and families through this difficult time,” said the clinic.