Freezer malfunction leaves more than 2000 frozen eggs and embryos at risk

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University Hospitals is in crisis after it discovered more than 2,000 eggs and embryos may have been damaged or destroyed over last weekend.

The clinic says that it doesn't know yet whether or not the viability of the eggs and embryos stored in liquid nitrogen at the affected bank has been compromised.

"It's devastating, it's absolutely devastating", said Patti DePompei, President of University Hospital MacDonald Women's Hospital and Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital.

In a statement it said it did not yet know if any of the 2000 eggs and embryos could still be used.

"We don't know the reasons why yet, but we do know that the temperature that was measured at a portion of the tank was higher than our acceptable limits", DePompei said.

University Hospitals issued a statement saying independent experts are being consulted to determine the cause of the malfunction.

It is unknown at this time how much it will cost to fix this, with University Hospitals saying it could mean procedure fees would be waived for future treatment, according to WEWS. "We are committed to getting answers and working with patients individually to address their concerns", says the clinic.

The fertility center apologized for the mistake and said it plans to investigate how it happened.

A call center has also been set up to arrange personal meetings or calls with 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. In order to determine whether or not the eggs and embryos are still viable, they have to be completely thawed, but they can not be refrozen after that.

She added: 'Right now, our patients come first. The cryogenic facilities where the eggs are stored are typically monitored with video surveillance and alarm systems.

As of now these eggs and embryos have been moved to a working tank. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ARSM), as many as 6200 women froze their eggs in 2015. The cost of the procedure range from at least $12,000 to $14,000. Sean Tipton, chief policy officer at ASRM expressed his sympathy for the affected families and said the organization would look into the matter ensuring this is not repeated.

"We are so very sorry this happened".

With more women deciding on a late motherhood, freezing eggs has become increasingly popular.