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

IVF light micrograph

About 2,000 eggs and embryos from 700 patients are stored there. University Hospitals officials have been looking into the issue.

These stored eggs and embryos may in some cases have been the only option for a woman or couple to have a biological child.

In order to see if the egg or embryo is still viable, it has to be thawed out and implanted.

The news came to patients in the form of a letter on Thursday.

The situation is "devastating for the families involved, and it's devastating for our physicians and our nurses and our staff as well", Patti DePompei, president of UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital and MacDonald Women's Hospital, told NBC News. Some of these eggs and embryos have been stored in there for decades.

No one was at the facility overnight on Saturday, and the storage tank was monitored both on and off-site.

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'We are committed to getting answers and working with patients individually to address their concerns'. "We will work with our member clinics to help them take any steps needed to ensure such an event never happens again". An American Society for Reproductive Medicine rep says nothing like this has ever happened at a U.S. fertility clinic.

Patients are encouraged to call the hotline at 216-286-9740, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m.to 8 p.m., and Saturday from 8 a.m. though 1 p.m. All of the tissue has since been transferred to a working tank. These are still preserved and would not be destroyed, the hospital said in a statement.

After a lady experiences an egg solidifying process, the frozen eggs are put away in fluid nitrogen tanks in a cryogenic facility where they are regularly checked with video observation and alert frameworks.

On average, freezing eggs can cost between $12,000 and $14,000. The numbers since then have only risen. Eggs and embryos are stored for a multitude of reasons, including women freezing their eggs while young to aid fertility, people undergoing IVF or fertility treatments, and those who underwent egg removal or embryo fertilization prior to cancer treatment or other medical procedures.

"Our hearts go out to the patients who have suffered this loss", Sean Tipton, chief policy officer at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ARSM) reportedly said.

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