Health Care

UH Fertility Clinic investigating failure involving eggs and embryos

UH Fertility Clinic investigating failure involving eggs and embryos

A malfunction in a storage bank at an OH fertility clinic may cause damage to more than 2,000 frozen eggs and embryos, according to media reports. The equipment reportedly failed last month due to which the temperature inside the refrigerator storing the eggs became warmer than it should.

"Until we know the issue that caused this we will be monitoring the tank 24/7", Liu told

Staff members are working with experts to "better understand the cause of this temperature fluctuation and ensure that it doesn't happen again", she 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.

Hospital officials say more than 500 patients were affected, including some that provided samples in the 1980's.

The facility has set up a call center for patients to arrange and appointment or calls to speak with their physicians. The frozen eggs and embryos play a crucial part in the whole process, but they have to be stored in certain conditions and at certain temperatures to remain viable.

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

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.

Patients are concerned their hopes and chances of having a child have been lost with this incident.

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.

University Hospitals is considering waiving fees for any future procedures for anyone who had eggs or embryos stored, according to WEWS future.

Thousands of eggs and embryos may have been destroyed after a hospital fridge malfunctioned. The costs of freezing eggs is somewhere around $12,000 to $14,000.

"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.