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

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

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

Egg freezing has grown in popularity, with an estimated 20,000 United States women who have had the procedure, according to the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology. Women freeze eggs in order to postpone pregnancy until a later date or to have a supply for in vitro fertilization attempts.

Dr. Carl Herbert is president of Pacific Fertility Clinic in San Francisco.

A second lawsuit has been filed by a family that says their frozen embryos were destroyed by a malfunction at a fertility center in Ohio. And a larger group whose tissue was unaffected. "We are committed to getting answers and working with patients individually to address their concerns". 'Our goal is to provide all the patients we see with some kind of a family.

Tipton said he was unaware of similar malfunctions that damaged thousands of eggs and embryos. He says they have not checked any of the embryos. That's when the clinic performed an "emergency filling", where the tank with depleted levels of liquid nitrogen was refilled.

The hospital issued an apology after the unexplained malfunction caused temperatures inside the storage tank to rise. One to three eggs may be stored in a unit.

The clinic in California informed about 400 patients of the failure, which occurred March 4. Herbert told the Post some of the eggs in the tank had been tested, and were undamaged.

The clinics in San Francisco and the Cleveland area say equipment failures March 4 may have damaged hundreds of frozen eggs and embryos. "But I was reassured that ..."

University Hospitals - which runs the fertility clinic - released a statement apologizing for the incident and promising to help patients in any way possible. Herbert said the problem was "immediately rectified", and he also praised the clinic's decision to replace the troubled tank with the new one. "Everyone who has talked to their doctor has been told 'your embryos are not viable.' It appears this is far more catastrophic than what was originally reported". "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".

According to the Pacific Fertility website, egg-freezing costs $8,345 for the first round and $6,995 for each subsequent round.

Samples would need to be unthawed to determine whether they've been damaged.

"We would love to have our own biological child, so when we found out that that decision was made for us, and they're destroyed, you're grieving the loss of your own child essentially because your hopes and dreams are put into that embryo", Kate Plants said.

More lawsuits have been filed against University Hospitals for the disaster that left thousands of eggs and embryos compromised.

Hospital officials say more than 500 patients were affected, including some that provided samples in the 1980's.

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