Egg Storage Malfunction Reported at U.S. Fertility Clinic


Two domestic clinics have had similar incidents this month

Frozen eggs and embryos were potentially compromised at a fertility clinic near San Francisco last week following a storage tank malfunction.

A brief loss of liquid nitrogen in cryo-storage laboratory equipment was the culprit at the Pacific Fertility Center on March 4.

Earlier in the week, some 2,000-plus eggs and embryos were impacted at the University Hospitals Fertility Clinic in Cleveland after a temperature drop occurred in storage freezers. Again, the incident was attributed to malfunctioning equipment.

The Pacific Fertility Center clarified via a statement that viable tissue was recovered from one tank, and that the vast majority of eggs and embryos in the lab were unaffected.”

“As soon as the issue was discovered, our most senior embryologists took immediate action to transfer those tissues from the affected equipment to a new piece of equipment,” read the statement.

Of course, that was little consolation to those clients who were affected, a fact not lost on clinic president Carl Herbert. Herbert told the Washington Post that employees spent days determining via records the names of potentially affected patients.

“Anger is a big part of the phone call,” Herbert told the Post. “Our goal is to provide all the patients we see with some kind of a family.”



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Rob Senior

Rob has 15 years of experience writing and editing for healthcare. He previously worked for ADVANCE from 2002 to 2012.

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