University Hospitals increases security at fertility clinic after embryo freezer malfunctions

Desiree Steele
March 10, 2018

More than 500 families could be affected as a result of the major malfunction linked to the long-term storage tank containing liquid nitrogen at the University Hospitals Fertility Center in Cleveland.

"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.

"Some of the eggs and embryos that were stored date back decades", DePompei told WKYC.

'Our hearts go out to the patients who have suffered this loss, ' said ASRM's chief policy officer, Sean Tipton, to NBC News.

"Until we know the issue that caused this we will be monitoring the tank 24/7", Liu told

The error has affected about 700 families who have been notified of the situation.

The fertility center apologized for the mistake and said it plans to investigate how it happened.

Eggs are frozen in order to postpone pregnancy.

Staff members are working with experts to "better understand the cause of this temperature fluctuation and ensure that it doesn't happen again", she said.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio- There will be increased security at University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center fertility clinic after a freezer malfunctioned.

In the case of the UH Fertility Center's compromised eggs, patients will only know if their eggs or embryos are still viable by implanting them.

The hospital is reaching out to each patient individually, both through letter and phone call.

At the tissue storage bank, these eggs and embryos are stored in liquid nitrogen according to a hospital spokesperson's statement yesterday (8th of March 2018). "And we want to do all that we can to support our patients and families through this hard time", said the clinic.

There is a call center available to answer questions and set up appointments.

As of now these eggs and embryos have been moved to a working tank. In 2015, in excess of 6,200 ladies solidified their eggs, as indicated by the most recent figures from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Harvesting and storing eggs cost patients thousands of dollars with one round of in vitro fertilization topping $15,000.

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