University Hospitals statement concerning fertility clinic

Ivan Schwartz
March 11, 2018

CLEVELAND, Ohio- University Hospital officials say they've increased security at the Ahuja Medical Center after 700 patients were notified that the frozen eggs and embyros they stored at the Fertility Center may have been damaged over the weekend when the temperature rose in a storage tank.

The viability of all the stored eggs and embryos is also unknown, said Patti DePompei, president of UH's Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital and UH MacDonald Women's Hospital.

USA Today reported the status of the 2,000 eggs and embryos was still not clear.

"We don't know the reasons why yet, but we do know that the temperature that was measured at a portion of the tank was higher than our acceptable limits", DePompei said.

"Until we know the issue that caused this we will be monitoring the tank 24/7", Liu told Cleveland.com.

Staff members are working with experts to "better understand the cause of this temperature fluctuation and ensure that it doesn't happen again", she said.

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According to University Hospitals, none of the eggs and embryos impacted by the partial thaw will be destroyed. "And we want to do all that we can to support our patients and families through this hard time", said the clinic.

"We are so very sorry this happened and we want to do all we can to support our patients and families through this very hard time". "We have already initiated contact with all of our patients to inform them and respond to their questions, and set up a designated call center to arrange personal meetings or calls with their physicians", UH said in the statement. The cryogenic facilities where the eggs are stored are typically monitored with video surveillance and alarm systems.

University Clinic adds that it plans on doing the right thing by its patients and their families, but doesn't go into detail as to what that would entail.

This is a representational image showing a technician opening a vessel containing women's frozen egg cells in Amsterdam, April 6, 2011.

As of now these eggs and embryos have been moved to a working tank. However, the only way to know if an embryo is still viable is to thaw and implant it.

The average cost of fertility treatment can be around $10,000 so the financial impact is expected to be significant.

Other reports by GizPress

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