Heartbreak for hundreds of families has followed the revelation that a refrigerator malfunction last weekend at Cleveland's University Hospitals' fertility clinics compromised thousands of embryos.
The officials said that one of the long-term storage tank that contained liquid nitrogen had an equipment failure that caused the temperatures to rise temporarily.
"Some of the eggs and embryos that were stored date back decades and people move, their addresses change but we've made our best attempts to track down everyone that we can", DePompei said. "Obviously the situation that occurred here is devastating for the families involved, and it's devastating for. our staff", DePompei tells NBC News.
University Hospitals issued a statement saying independent experts are being consulted to determine the cause of the malfunction.
At the tissue storage bank, these eggs and embryos are stored in liquid nitrogen according to a hospital spokesperson's statement yesterday (8th of March 2018). University Hospitals says it won't destroy the eggs and embryos, though whether patients will get their money back isn't yet clear. We have already initiated contact with all of our patients to inform them and respond to their questions, and set up a designated call center to arrange personal meetings or calls 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 cryogenic facilities where the eggs are stored are typically monitored with video surveillance and alarm systems.More news: Travel alert to Playa del Carmen scaled back
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Now at 28, Katelynn considered those 10 eggs and four embryos her future. However, the only way to know if an embryo is still viable is to thaw and implant it.
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.
That means the hospital will have to sit down with more than 700 patients and decide how they want to proceed. "We will work with our member clinics to help them take any steps needed to ensure such an event never happens again". According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ARSM), as many as 6200 women froze their eggs in 2015.
With more women deciding on a late motherhood, freezing eggs has become increasingly popular. The cost of the procedure range from at least $12,000 to $14,000.