Saturday, 18 August, 2018

Equipment failure at second fertility clinic may have damaged hundreds of embryos

US Fertility Clinic Informs Hundreds Their Eggs May Have Been Damaged The reason of chemical failure that damaged the eggs is unclear
Orlando Vargas | 13 March, 2018, 12:11

A liquid nitrogen storage tank at University Hospitals malfunctioned the weekend of March 3rd, causing 2100 eggs and embryos to be compromised.

Herbert says the clinic's staff thawed a few eggs and found they remain viable.

"I think that there is just a lot of anger and hurt in the infertility community right now about this".

The three lawsuits filed so far have all been assigned randomly to different judges, but that is likely to change, said Judge John J. Russo, the court's administrative and presiding judge.

"We measure them with a stick so we see that there is liquid nitrogen in there", she said.

"Our clients are absolutely devastated, as I'm sure countless families across OH are, in the wake of this catastrophic failure by University Hospitals", said Mark DiCello of DiCello Levitt & Casey. "They are gone. They are gone in an instant", Amber Ash said. One round of in vitro fertilization can cost patients without medical insurance around $12,000. UH officials say the lawsuit will not affect an ongoing independent review into the malfunction.

In the Cleveland incident at University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center's fertility clinic, officials notified about 700 patients that their frozen eggs and embryos may have been damaged.

A spokesman for the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, a major professional organization, said such large-scale incidents appear to be unprecedented.

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"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.

"You can imagine how devastating it would be to realize your son or daughter has been lost", Scott said.

The lawsuits are a result of the potential loss of more than 2,000 eggs and embryos at UH's Fertility Center two weekends ago. "Many had planned on implanting the embryos this year, and had already chosen a name".

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

Two fertility clinics are facing a barrage of complaints about equipment failures that may have destroyed thousands of frozen embryos and eggs. A spokesperson for University Hospitals said Monday that the health system is still investigating if human error or an equipment malfunction was to blame.

Although most of the lawyers in the early cases have expressed a desire to seek class action status, Merriman said there are benefits to opting out of the class and pursuing individual actions on behalf of his clients via a mass tort case. "It's a tremendous loss", Amber said. They said they have contacted the affected patients and set up a call center to arrange personal meetings or calls with physicians.

Millions of dollars is at stake with this class action lawsuit.

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