A fertility clinic in San Francisco alerted their users that thousands of embryos and eggs could have been damaged due to a liquid nitrogen failure in a storage tank.
About 400 patients were affected by the failure that – according to Dr. Carl Herbert, president of the Pacific Fertility Clinic – took place on March 4. However, he also said that the clinic’s staff defrosted some eggs that remain viable. The embryos have not been checked.
What is more surprising is that just a few days ago, there was a similar failure in another fertility clinic of the United States. In an Ohio hospital, 2000 frozen eggs and embryos could have suffered damages due to a refrigerator failure. They apologized to the patients and said they would do everything in their domain to address the situation.
Several failures in U.S fertility clinics in just a few days
The incident took place late Saturday or Sunday morning at the University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center’s local fertility clinic. The employees of the clinic noticed the problem thanks to an alarm they heard when they arrived for work on Sunday. No employee was there on Saturday night.
“We are incredibly sorry this happened,” said the hospital in a statement. “We are committed to getting answers and working with patients individually to address their concerns.”
The patients were notified through letters and calls. The hospital didn’t specify if the 700 affected patients would be compensated.
In vitro fertilization is a costly process. Just one round of it can cost around 12000 dollars.
A devastating malfunction
Patti DePompei, who is the president of the University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital and MacDonald Women’s Hospital, said the situation was completely “devastating”.
“At this point, we do not know the viability of all the stored eggs and embryos, although we do know some have been impacted,” DePompei said in a video statement she posted on Facebook.
Some of the affected samples date back to the 80’s. The samples have been moved to another storage tank, and it are being closely monitored.
In the San Francisco Clinic, Dr. Herbert said that they still don’t know why there was a failure and they cant calculate the full extent of the damage yet. They don’t know how many eggs will be able to be used in the future.
“There is just not an ability to do this unemotionally. Anger is a big part of the phone call,” Herbert said. “Our goal is to provide all the patients we see with some kind of a family . . . We need to think if this tissue doesn’t work, what are the next steps and have you not feel defeated.”
Source: Fox 2 Now