Freezer malfunction leaves more than 2000 frozen eggs and embryos at risk

Bryan Strickland
March 11, 2018

The womb-wrenching flub was caused when heat levels unexpectedly rose inside a liquid nitrogen tank at the fertility center, "compromising" up to 2,000 eggs and embryos, DePompei admitted in a Facebook post. "Until we know the issue that caused this", Liu said, "we will be monitoring the tank 24/7". "But we do know that the temperature that was measured at a portion of the tank was higher than our acceptable limits".

Patients are concerned their hopes and chances of having a child have been lost with this incident.

University Hospitals is considering waiving fees for any future procedures for anyone who had eggs or embryos stored, according to WEWS future. They said in a statement, "Right now, our patients come first". 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. 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.

The dilemma for those involved is that their eggs and embryos have to be completely thawed to determine whether they are still viable, but if thawed, they can not be refrozen. "We've actually engaged an outside expert to analyze and drill down to see what actually happened", said Dr. James Liu, Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UH MacDonald Women's Hospital.

University Hospitals Fertility Center is responsible for the births of thousands of babies.

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More than 2,000 embryos are believed to be compromised affecting at least 700 families, CNN reported, and the hospital said it's notifying patients with letters and phone calls and has set up a hotline for patient concerns.

Patients are devastated at the potential loss, and as a precaution, the hospital has ramped up security.

On average, freezing eggs can cost between $12,000 and $14,000. "We will work with our member clinics to help them take any steps needed to ensure such an event never happens again".

With more women deciding on a late motherhood, freezing eggs has become increasingly popular.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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