Thousands of frozen eggs, embryos possibly damaged at Ohio hospital

by Noah Mcgee March 10, 2018, 0:43
Thousands of frozen eggs, embryos possibly damaged at Ohio hospital

Officials say more than 2,000 frozen eggs and embryos may have been damaged due to a refrigerator malfunction at an OH fertility clinic. The viability of the eggs and embryos is unknown, the facility said in a statement. Patients were notified beginning Tuesday but the hospital shared the problem with news media Thursday evening.

In comments underneath the video message, people expressed frustration and heartbreak at the potential loss of the embryos and eggs, which represented not only a significant financial and medical commitment, but the hope of expanding families.

Each vile contained two to three eggs or embryos from each patient.

Right now, hospital officials do not know how numerous eggs and embryos are viable, only that a number have been impacted.

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. Some of these eggs and embryos have been stored in there for decades.

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. The hospital is bringing in experts to assist. "Right now, our patients and families are our first priority". An American Society for Reproductive Medicine rep says nothing like this has ever happened at a USA fertility clinic.

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'We are committed to getting answers and working with patients individually to address their concerns'. Per a University Hospitals statement cited by News 5 Cleveland, the facility has "initiated contact with all of our patients", and a call center has been set up so patients can set up meetings with doctors.

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.

There have been no threats, said hospital officials.

Eggs are frozen in order to postpone pregnancy. The numbers since then have only risen.

On average, freezing eggs can cost between $12,000 and $14,000.

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