Broken fridge leaves thousands of embryos in question

Broken fridge leaves thousands of embryos in question

Broken fridge leaves thousands of embryos in question

Thousands of frozen eggs and embryos were likely destroyed when temperatures spiked in a storage tank at a nationally renowned OH fertility clinic, according to hospital officials and reports Friday.

The dilemma for those involved is that their eggs and embryos have to be completely thawed to determine whether they are still viable, but if thawed, they can not be refrozen.

'But we do know that the temperature that was measured at a portion of the tank was higher than our acceptable limits'.

"We are working very very carefully to determine how we can best support them through the process", DePompei said, while saying it was unclear whether fertility procedure fees for the affected patients will be waived.

DePompei notes the temperature spike took place sometime between Saturday afternoon, when staff left for the day, and early Sunday.

The failure caused the temperature to rise, ultimately making the eggs and embryos at the facility lose their viability.

More than 2,000 embryos are believed to be compromised affecting at least 700 families, CNN reported, and the hospital said it's notifying patients with letters and phone calls and has set up a hotline for patient concerns.

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A call center has also been set up to arrange personal meetings or calls with physicians.

A University Hospitals spokeswoman said the security increase is because of the, "emotional nature of the situation".

According to University Hospitals, none of the eggs and embryos impacted by the partial thaw will be destroyed. The cryogenic facilities where the eggs are stored are typically monitored with video surveillance and alarm systems.

The center will be open Monday through Friday 7 8 p.m. and on Saturday 8 a.m to 1 p.m. "Right now, our patients and families are our first priority".

Egg freezing has grown in popularity, with more than 6,2000 women going through the procedure in 2015, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

The average cost of fertility treatment can be around $10,000 so the financial impact is expected to be significant.

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

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