Frozen Eggs, Embryos No Longer Viable After Hospital Mishap?

UH Fertility Clinic investigating failure involving eggs and embryos

Heartbreak for hundreds of families has followed the revelation that a refrigerator malfunction last weekend at Cleveland's University Hospitals' fertility clinics compromised thousands of embryos.

The temperature of the tissue storage bank, where eggs and embryos are housed in liquid nitrogen, unexpectedly fluctuated, the hospital system said 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 people had multiple samples stored, and some eggs and embryos have been stored since the 1980s. She explained that the reasons were being explored but all they could say now was that the temperatures at one part of the storage tank was higher than their acceptable limits. While the extent of the loss is still unclear, the hospital informed about 700 patients that their frozen eggs and embryos may have suffered damage. There has been a temperature fluctuation that may have damaged the stored eggs they said. Sometimes eggs are stored in such process for decades.

The incident happened between Saturday night and Sunday morning, after staff had left for the evening.

In order to determine if the embryos and eggs have been impacted, they'll have to unfreeze them.

More news: Collapse Of Iran Nuclear Deal Would Be "Great Loss": UN Watchdog Chief

BEACHWOOD, Ohio- There will be increased security at University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center fertility clinic after a freezer malfunctioned. "We are committed to getting answers and working with patients individually to address their concerns", the University Hospitals statement said.

According to reports, the hospital said it will not destroy any of the eggs or embryos. "Right now, our patients and families are our first priority". 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.

As of now these eggs and embryos have been moved to a working tank.

Egg freezing has grown in popularity, with more than 6,2000 women going through the procedure in 2015, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

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