University Hospitals increases security at fertility clinic after embryo freezer malfunctions

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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.

After the malfunction, the only way to determine whether the samples are still good is thawing and implanting them, the clinic told the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

In a statement on Thursday, University Hospitals said that it doesn't know yet what caused the temperature to rise, but it's conducting an investigation into the matter.

DePompei notes the temperature spike took place sometime between Saturday afternoon, when staff left for the day, and early Sunday.

The liquid nitrogen freezer held about 2,000 egg and embryo specimens, according to James Liu, chairman of the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UH Cleveland Medical Center.

More than 2,000 embryos are believed to be compromised affecting at least 700 families, CNN reported, and the hospital said it's notifying patients with letters and phone calls and has set up a hotline for patient concerns.

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The facility has set up a call center for patients to arrange and appointment or calls to speak with their physicians.

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

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

The typical process of storage or freezing of the eggs involves an extraction of the eggs from a woman after which it is stored in liquid nitrogen tanks in a cryogenic facility. They said in a statement, "Right now, our patients come first". The line will be staffed by staffed by nurse professionals from 7 a.m.to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday and 8 a.m.to 1 p.m. on Saturday.

In comments underneath the video message, people expressed frustration and heartbreak at the potential loss of the embryos and eggs, which represented not only a significant financial and medical commitment, but the hope of expanding families. According to the latest figures from the ARSM, more than 6,200 women froze their eggs in 2015. The costs of freezing eggs is somewhere around $12,000 to $14,000.

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