More than 4,000 eggs and embryos affected at Ohio fertility clinic by freezer malfunction. Almost 950 families are suffering by the storage tank failure incident.
The letter sent to affected families from University Hospitals Fertility Clinic said “it was sharing the updated information with a “heavy heart.” the copy of letter obtained by CNN on Tuesday.
“The technical manner in which the eggs and embryos stored in these freezers complicated. Our initial determination of how many patients and specimens were affected,” the letter stated.
The clinic claims that situation is difficult to judge the embryos still usable in letter it said “We are heartbroken to tell you that it’s unlikely any are viable.”
The temperatures have fluctuated in nitrogen storage tank in which the eggs and embryo stored and complete unit malfunctioned. An investigation revealed that the remote alarm system on the tank. Designed to alert an employee to changes such as temperature swings, was off.
“We don’t know when the remote alarm was turned off, but it remained off through that weekend, so an alert wasn’t sent to our employee as the tank temperature began to rise on Saturday night, when the lab isn’t staffed,” the letter said.
“An alarm should have sent and received,” it continued. “We don’t know who turned off the remote alarm nor do we know how long it was off, but it appears to have been off for a period of time. We are still seeking those answers.”
No specimens removed till now by Ohio fertility clinic
The tank in question had been experiencing “difficulty” for several weeks before the failure. The facility said in its letter this week. There were problems with the automatic filling of liquid nitrogen into the tank, so employees were having to fill the tank manually.
The facility said that, at the time of the failure. It was working with the tank manufacturer on how to correct the problem. It had begun the several-week process of transferring all specimens to another storage tank though when the failure happened. No specimens had yet removed.
When it last checked the nitrogen levels before the failure. They “appeared to be appropriate,” the facility said, “but we now suspect that may not have been the case.”
“We do not yet know if this fill process may explain the rise in temperature over the weekend,” the letter said. “This investigation continues.”