University Hospitals opens hotline, increases security after eggs, embryos potentially damaged

University Hospitals is notifying fertility patients that its refrigeration facility which stores eggs and embryos malfunctioned. It's unclear what caused the problem and the hospital is investigating

There has been a recent incident at a fertility clinic - University Hospitals Fertility Center, Cleveland, where the eggs and embryos are stored.

The womb-wrenching flub was caused when heat levels unexpectedly rose inside a liquid nitrogen tank at the fertility center, "compromising" up to 2,000 eggs and embryos, DePompei admitted in a Facebook post.

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. It remains to be seen whether patients whose tissue was in the freezer will still be expected to pay, DePompei told NBC News.

According to University Hospitals, none of the eggs and embryos impacted by the partial thaw will be destroyed. "We are committed to getting answers and working with patients individually to address their concerns", says the clinic.

'We will work with our member clinics to help them take any steps needed to ensure such an event never happens again'. 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. They said in a statement, "Right now, our patients come first".

University Hospitals notified the patients this week, explaining that a problem with one of two large freezers preserving the specimens at the hospital's fertility center was discovered last Sunday, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.

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The only way to check if an egg or embryo is viable is to thaw it, which is only done when it is to be used imminently. The cryogenic facilities where the eggs are stored are typically monitored with video surveillance and alarm systems.

University Hospitals Fertility Center is responsible for the births of thousands of babies.

"We are so very sorry this happened".

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.

'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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