Medicine

Fertility Clinic Says Failure May Have Damaged Thousands Of Eggs And Embryos

Fertility Clinic Says Failure May Have Damaged Thousands Of Eggs And Embryos

In Cleveland, officials at the University Hospitals Fertility Center said the failure there caused the temperature to rise inside the area where tissue was stored, possibly damaging 2,100 eggs and embryos belonging to more than 600 families. "Anger is a big part of the phone call", Herbert said of his discussions with patients. The increased temperature risks damage to the eggs and embryos. Some of the eggs stored were deposited in the 1980s, he said.

Dr. Carl Herbert, president of Pacific Fertility Clinic, told the Washington Post Sunday that officials had informed some 400 patients of the failure, which occurred March 4. They have not checked any of the embryos, he said. One to three eggs may be stored in a unit.

The incident comes as a growing number of women choose to freeze their eggs due to illness, or because they are concerned that the quality and quantity of their eggs will drop over time.

"This was a awful incident", Pacific Fertility Center President Carl Herbert, MD, told The Post.

While the extent of the damage in both scenarios is unclear, the potential damage to eggs in both incidents would be a financial and emotional blow to the fertility patients, including women storing embryos, women donating their eggs and women seeking to delay a pregnancy.

"The good news is, we have viable embryos - we've proven that from that tank", Herbert said.

The clinic has reported the incident to the College of American Pathologists, which regulates labs, and the overseers of California's tissue banks, Herbert said.




The San Francisco-based clinic has brought in a team to investigate the malfunction. All of the samples have been moved to another storage tank. Staff members at the clinic then spent days going through patient records to verify which patients were affected.

According to WEWS, Amber Ash says she and her husband were notified of the freezer malfunction on Friday and told their embryos are no longer viable.

According to the clinic's website, its fees for egg freezing are $8,345 for the initial cycle and $6,995 for each subsequent round.

CBS Cleveland affiliate WOIO-TV reports that a class action suit was being filed by one couple involved against University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center.

The Pacific Fertility Clinic of La Jolla, Calif., acknowledged on Sunday that an undisclosed number of frozen human eggs and embryos, stored in nitrogen for future use, may have been damaged or rendered unusable.

"Our clients are absolutely devastated, as I'm sure countless families across OH are in the wake of this catastrophic failure by University Hospitals", lawyer Mark DiCello says in the news release.