March 21, 2018

Fertility Clinics Facing Outrage After Egg, Embryo Storage Failures

13 March 2018, 01:27 | Lena Norman

ABC News The Pacific Fertility Center's refrigerator malfunctioned a temperature fluctuation that affected hundreds of eggs and embryos

Centers refrigerator malfunctioned a temperature fluctuation that affected hundreds of eggs and embryos

Egg and embryo storage tanks at two separate infertility centers, one in OH and the other in California, malfunctioned, leaving hundreds of hopeful parents devastated and seeking legal recourse.

The March 4 incident at Pacific Fertility Clinic, acknowledged on Sunday by the facility's president, is the second such admission in a matter of days, coming on the heels of a similar malfunction the same weekend at an unrelated clinic in Cleveland.

DiCello Levitt & Casey is conducting investigations of potential similar lawsuits at clinics across the country, including a San Francisco facility that experienced a similar malfunction earlier this month, according to a news release.

He is unaware of a single case like this one - involving the loss of eggs and embryos at a fertility clinic - that made it to trial.

She says temperatures in one of the two liquid nitrogen tanks storing specimens at University Hospitals' fertility clinic in suburban Cleveland rose above acceptable limits overnight Saturday for unknown reasons. "Our goal is to provide all the patients we see with some kind of a family".

Carl Herbert, a doctor and clinic president, told the newspaper that the clinic's laboratory director discovered during a routine inspection that the level of liquid nitrogen in the tank was low, which can cause the temperature to rise.

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. "The medical community calls it tissue".

That embryologist, Herbert said, "immediately rectified" the problem by refilling the tank.

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The clinic has reported the incident to the College of American Pathologists, which regulates labs, and the overseers of California's tissue banks, Herbert said.

"This was a bad incident", Herbert told the Post, "but I was reassured that he did everything anybody could ever want to do".

A spokesperson with the clinic told the post that an estimated 15 percent of the clinic's total number of eggs and embryos were in the damaged tank.

"We had two embryos that had been stored at UH Ahuja Medical Center, and those two embryos we were told yesterday [Saturday] that they were not deemed viable", Amber Ash said.

How numerous eggs and embryos are no longer viable.

An Ohio family has filed a class action lawsuit against the hospital where officials estimate about 2,000 frozen eggs and embryos may have been damaged by a storage tank malfunction.

"Right now, our patients come first", UH said in the statement.

University Hospitals officials say procedure fees could be waived for future treatment, according to CNN affiliate WEWS. Some samples date to the 1980s.

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