Malfunction Leads to Loss of Frozen Eggs, Embryos

  • Malfunction Leads to Loss of Frozen Eggs, Embryos

Malfunction Leads to Loss of Frozen Eggs, Embryos

Officials say more than 2,000 frozen eggs and embryos may have been damaged due to a refrigerator malfunction at an OH fertility clinic.

The temperature of the tissue storage bank, where eggs and embryos are housed in liquid nitrogen, unexpectedly fluctuated, the hospital system said on Thursday.

Patti DePompei, president of UH MacDonald Women's Hospital and UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, told NBC News this malfunction may have caused damage to numerous eggs and embryos - some of which have been stored for decades.

"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.

DePompei said the temperature fluctuation had occurred "due to reasons unknown" and that the hospital had launched a major investigation to find out what happened.

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

"We are bringing in independent experts to ensure we understand all aspects of this occurrence and do everything possible to address the situation", the clinic said in a statement. They said in a statement, "Right now, our patients come first".

Prior to surgery, she underwent fertility treatment at University Hospitals to harvest eggs for her future.

The recent incident has caused concern for University Hospitals, which has reached out to patients to learn if the eggs and embryos are still viable.

Embryologists who arrived at the center on Sunday morning were alerted by an alarm that the temperature of the tank had increased, administrators told the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

A call center has also been set up to arrange personal meetings or calls with physicians. "And we want to do all that we can to support our patients and families through this hard time", said the clinic.

This is a representational image showing a technician opening a vessel containing women's frozen egg cells in Amsterdam, April 6, 2011.

Thousands of eggs and embryos may have been destroyed after a hospital fridge malfunctioned.

On average, freezing eggs can cost between $12,000 and $14,000.

"We are so very sorry this happened".