A malfunction over the weekend at a Cleveland fertility clinic may have destroyed more than 2,000 stored eggs and embryos, affecting hundreds of families.
More than two thousand eggs and embryos stored at a fertility clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, may be in danger due to temperature fluctuation.
"At this point, we do not know the viability of all of the stored eggs and embryos, although we do know some have been impacted", said Patti DePompei, president of UH Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital, in a video posted Thursday on Facebook. At this time, we don't yet know the viability of these eggs and embryos.
University Hospitals issued a statement saying independent experts are being consulted to determine the cause of the malfunction.
Prior to surgery, she underwent fertility treatment at University Hospitals to harvest eggs for her future. "We are committed to getting answers and working with patients individually to address their concerns", University Hospitals said in a statement.
The incident happened last week between Saturday night and Sunday morning when the storage facility was not staffed, hospital administrators told the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
A call center has also been set up to arrange personal meetings or calls with physicians.
Right now, our patients come first. The frozen eggs and embryos play a crucial part in the whole process, but they have to be stored in certain conditions and at certain temperatures to remain viable.
That means the hospital will have to sit down with more than 700 patients and decide how they want to proceed.
The only way to check if an egg or embryo is viable is to thaw it, which is only done when it is to be used imminently.
This is a representational image showing a technician opening a vessel containing women's frozen egg cells in Amsterdam, April 6, 2011. The costs of freezing eggs is somewhere around $12,000 to $14,000.
"We are so very sorry this happened".
'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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