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Published: Sun, March 11, 2018
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Thousands of eggs, embryos possibly damaged at OH hospital

Thousands of eggs, embryos possibly damaged at OH hospital

CLEVELAND, Ohio- University Hospital officials say they've increased security at the Ahuja Medical Center after 700 patients were notified that the frozen eggs and embyros they stored at the Fertility Center may have been damaged over the weekend when the temperature rose in a storage tank.

"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", she said in a video message posted to Facebook on Friday. "But we do know that the temperature that was measured at a portion of the tank was higher than our acceptable limits".

None of the eggs and embryos impacted by the partial thaw will be destroyed. "We've actually engaged an outside expert to analyze and drill down to see what actually happened", said Dr. James Liu, Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UH MacDonald Women's Hospital.

The facility has set up a call center for patients to arrange and appointment or calls to speak with their physicians. There has been a temperature fluctuation that may have damaged the stored eggs they said.

University Clinic adds that it plans on doing the right thing by its patients and their families, but doesn't go into detail as to what that would entail. In order to determine whether or not the eggs and embryos are still viable, they have to be completely thawed, but they can not be refrozen after that.

Patients are devastated at the potential loss, and as a precaution, the hospital has ramped up security.

"We're working very, very hard to try to support them through what is understandably incredibly challenging situation, and we're working very hard to come up with more definitive answers for specific questions they may have as it relates to their own family", DePompei said.

Eggs are frozen in order to postpone pregnancy.

On average, freezing eggs can cost between $12,000 and $14,000. Sean Tipton, chief policy officer at ASRM expressed his sympathy for the affected families and said the organization would look into the matter ensuring this is not repeated.

The process has become cheaper and increasing popular among young women wanting to preserve their fertility.

With more women deciding on a late motherhood, freezing eggs has become increasingly popular.

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