Fertility clinic disaster may have destroyed thousands of frozen eggs, embryos


A temperature malfunction at a fertility clinic in the Cleveland area may have compromised the viability of more than 2,000 frozen eggs and embryos.

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.

Patti DePompei, president of the University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital and MacDonald Women's Hospital, said the incident happened sometime after staff left the previous afternoon, per Plain Dealer. Due to the temperature fluctuation at the facility, the viability of the stored eggs and embryos may be in danger.

"Until we know the issue that caused this we will be monitoring the tank 24/7", Liu told Cleveland.com.

The recent incident has caused concern for University Hospitals, which has reached out to patients to learn if the eggs and embryos are still viable.

According to reports, the hospital said it will not destroy any of the eggs or embryos.

Right now, our patients come first. They have been moved to another cryo tank at the correct temperature.

An equipment failure caused the temperature to rise ultimately causing close to 2,100 eggs and embryos to potentially lose viability
An equipment failure caused the temperature to rise ultimately causing close to 2,100 eggs and embryos to potentially lose viability

"We are bringing in independent experts to ensure we understand all aspects of this occurrence and do everything possible to address the situation", the clinic said in a statement.

University Hospitals notified the patients this week, explaining that a problem with one of two large freezers preserving the specimens at the hospital's fertility center was discovered last Sunday, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.

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

The facility has set up a call center for patients to arrange and appointment or calls to speak with their physicians. The cost of the procedure range from at least $12,000 to $14,000. "And we want to do all that we can to support our patients and families through this hard time", said the clinic.

'Our hearts go out to the patients who have suffered this loss, ' said ASRM's chief policy officer, Sean Tipton, to NBC News.

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

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