Malfunction Leads to Loss of Frozen Eggs, Embryos

More than 2,000 frozen eggs and embryos may not be viable after freezer fails

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An egg freezing facility in Cleveland suffered a major malfunction potentially losing out on 2,100 frozen eggs and embryos.

University Hospitals Fertility Center's storage bank at Ahuja Medical Center in Beachwood was compromised last weekend when it "experienced unexpected temperature fluctuations" in the liquid nitrogen storage bank that holds stored eggs and embryos, said Patti DePompei, president of UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital and UH MacDonald Women's Hospital.

"We are so very sorry this happened and we want to do all that we can to support our patients and families through this very hard time", Patti DePompei, president of University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital and MacDonald Women's Hospital, said in a video posted on Facebook Thursday.

"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", she said in a video message posted to Facebook on Friday.

"We are so very sorry this happened and we want to do all that we can to support our patients and families through this very hard time", DePompei said.

No one was at the facility overnight on Saturday, and the storage tank was monitored both on and off-site.

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The hospital said it does not yet know what caused the problem and is investigating.

A University Hospitals spokeswoman said the security increase is because of the, "emotional nature of the situation". "Right now, our patients and families are our first priority". "We are committed to getting answers and working with patients individually to address their concerns", University Hospitals said in a statement.

It is exacerbated by the fact that the only way to determine if the specimens are viable is to thaw them, Liu told the Plain Dealer. It has also moved the eggs and embryos to a working tank.

On average, freezing eggs can cost between $12,000 and $14,000. Most women need many more rounds to even become pregnant. "We will work with our member clinics to help them take any steps needed to ensure such an event never happens again".

Right now, hospital officials do not know how numerous eggs and embryos are viable, only that a number have been impacted.

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