Frozen Eggs, Embryos No Longer Viable After Hospital Mishap?

Parents on edge after learning embryos possibly destroyed at fertility center

The only way to find out if the samples are still viable is to thaw and implant them, the hospital told the the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

DePompei notes the temperature spike took place sometime between Saturday afternoon, when staff left for the day, and early Sunday.

"We don't have the foggiest idea about the reasons why yet", DePompei said.

"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.

More than 500 families hoping to have a baby using frozen eggs or embryos might no longer have that option because of an unknown temperature fluctuation at a OH fertility center.

The typical process of storage or freezing of the eggs involves an extraction of the eggs from a woman after which it is stored in liquid nitrogen tanks in a cryogenic facility.

College Hospitals has been connecting with patients who can choose how to continue - the best way to know whether an egg or developing life is as yet feasible is to defrost and embed it. An American Society for Reproductive Medicine rep says nothing like this has ever happened at a U.S. fertility clinic. The equipment reportedly failed last month due to which the temperature inside the refrigerator storing the eggs became warmer than it should.

These stored eggs and embryos may in some cases have been the only option for a woman or couple to have a biological child.

'We are committed to getting answers and working with patients individually to address their concerns'. 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. These eggs are watched over using a video surveillance and an alarm system.

As of now these eggs and embryos have been moved to a working tank.

"Right now, our patients come first". The help-line number they have announced is a 24-hour hotline 216-286-9740.

This is a representational image showing a technician opening a vessel containing women's frozen egg cells in Amsterdam, April 6, 2011. The cost of the procedure range from at least $12,000 to $14,000.

'Our hearts go out to the patients who have suffered this loss, ' said ASRM's chief policy officer, Sean Tipton, to NBC News.



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