Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
Health | By Jay Jacobs

Glitch At Fertility Clinic Exposes Vulnerabilities In System For Women Freezing Eggs

Glitch At Fertility Clinic Exposes Vulnerabilities In System For Women Freezing Eggs

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".

Hundreds of patients whose eggs or embryos were stored in the tank for future use have been notified, said a spokesman for the Pacific Fertility Clinic.

The incident at Pacific Fertility Center in San Francisco happened on the same day as University Hospitals in Cleveland. PRW has received calls from at least 12 patients affected by a similar accident at a San Francisco fertility clinic, and looking for legal representation, Wolf said. The number of eggs and embryos affected was not disclosed.

Now couples who had embryos stored at the OH facility are suing. "Our goal is to provide all the patients we see with some kind of a family".

Dr Carl Herbert, president of the facility, said doctors called patients on Saturday to inform them of the failure. The failure was discovered by the clinic's lab director, who noticed the level of liquid nitrogen in one of its steel storage tanks was too low, which resulted in a temperature increase. In the case in OH, the facility said the only way to determine the viability of the eggs and the embryos of 700 patients is to fully thaw them.

An "unexpected temperature fluctuation with the tissue storage bank" occurred over the weekend of March 3 and 4, according to a statement from UH on March 8, at which point the system didn't know the viability of the eggs and embryos.

The clinic also sent out emails to two other groups of patients about the failure - an estimated 100 patients who had tissue in the problematic tank and another tank, and then a second group whose embryos and eggs remained undamaged. "This was a awful incident", Herbert said, "but I was reassured that ... he did everything anybody could ever want to do". Herbert told the Post some of the eggs in the tank had been tested, and were undamaged.

The lawsuit is a response to the Center's disaster that possibly damaged more than 2,000 eggs and embryos. "The Pennsylvania couple entrusted UHFC with their dreams of having children, as well as their most sensitive and important property: their frozen embryos". They were mixed. Each vial contained two or three eggs or embryos from each patient.

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. If they are not, he said, "we are going to make our patients happy one way or another". Some dated to the 1980s. UH officials say the lawsuit will not affect an ongoing independent review into the malfunction.

Like this: