A fertility clinic in OH is investigating temperature fluctuations that effected eggs and embryos of hundreds of patients.
The temperature in one of the site's two liquid nitrogen tanks storing specimens at University Hospitals'UH Fertility Center in suburban Cleveland rose above acceptable limits overnight Saturday, according to the Plain Dealer. None of the eggs or embryos will be destroyed, WKYC reported, and University Hospitals has reported the incident to federal regulators. An AmericanSociety for Reproductive Medicine rep says nothing like this has ever happened at a United States fertility clinic. There has been a temperature fluctuation that may have damaged the stored eggs they said. These eggs are retrieved from the ovaries and taken to a laboratory where they are cooled to subzero temperatures in a liquid nitrogen tank.
These stored eggs and embryos may in some cases have been the only option for a woman or couple to have a biological child. "We are committed to getting answers and working with our patients individually to address their concerns".
"Right now, our patients come first". 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.
The hospital has asked patients or those with questions to call the UH Fertility Center information line at 216-286-9740.
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.
The eggs and embryos have been moved to a different cryotank in the meantime, but their viability remains questionable. The cost of the procedure range from at least $12,000 to $14,000.
With more women deciding on a late motherhood, freezing eggs has become increasingly popular.
"Our hearts go out to the patients who have endured this misfortune", said Sean Tipton, boss strategy officer at ASRM.
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