12 Mar University Hospitals Notifies 700 Fertility Patients of Potential Damage to Stored Eggs and Embryos
CLEVELAND, OH — According to Cleveland.com, “University Hospitals has notified about 700 fertility patients and their families that the frozen eggs and embryos they had stored at one of its hospitals may have been damaged over the weekend when the temperature rose in a storage tank.”
According to the notice, at least one of the two freezers preserving eggs and embryos at the Ahuja Medical Center of University Hospitals Fertility Center in Beachwood had some sort of malfunction. This freezer problem was discovered on Sunday morning and had apparently happened some time the previous afternoon.
The freezer unit in question stored around 2,000 egg and embryo specimens. Some patients had more than one sample stored, and some of the samples were provided as long ago as the 1980’s. According to the Cleveland.com report, “The storage tank had off-site monitoring and an audible alarm that would alert staff to such a temperature change. The alarm was sounding on Sunday morning when staff arrived but there was no one in the facility overnight on Saturday.”
“There is evidence that some of the eggs and embryos were damaged,” according to Dr. James Liu chairman of the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UH Cleveland Medical Center. “It’s not yet clear what caused the temperature to rise in the tank,” said Liu, “and the hospital is investigating.”
Peiffer Wolf Carr & Kane attorney Adam Wolf said: “Keep in mind that these families have entrusted their most valuable property in the entire world – their frozen embryos – to these facilities and clinics. We want to make sure that these devastating tragedies never happen again.”
A typical round of in vitro fertilization costs about $12,000 without insurance. According to Cleveland.com, “The storage tank is most commonly used for women storing extra embryos while they undergo in-vitro fertilization, as well as for egg donors, and for women who are delaying pregnancy or concerned about the ability to conceive.”
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If you or a loved one were notified about the freezer malfunction at University Hospitals Fertility Center, we can help you. Contact us today by filling out an online Contact Form or by calling 216-589-9280 for a FREE Consultation. The fertility attorneys at Peiffer Wolf Carr & Kane are here to help you at this trying time, help you understand your legal rights, and fight to hold the proper parties accountable.