Fertility clinic disaster may have destroyed thousands of frozen eggs, embryos

Inc. All rights rese

Inc. All rights rese

USA Today reported the status of the 2,000 eggs and embryos was still not clear. University Hospitals officials have been looking into the issue.

The damaged eggs are a crushing blow to patients, including women who planned to donate their eggs, hoped to delay a pregnancy or were storing embryos while undergoing in vitro fertilization.

The process of removing and freezing a woman's eggs is arduous and can cost upward of $10,000, plus hundreds of dollars in yearly storage fees.

The only way to find out if the samples are still viable is to thaw and implant them, the hospital told the the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Some samples that were unfrozen for scheduled procedures this week were not viable.

"We are so very sorry this happened, and we want to do all that we can to support our families and patients through this very hard time", said Patti DePompei, president of University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital, in a video posted on UH's Facebook page. The tanks are attached with alarms, which will go off if the temperature drops below a certain level.

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These stored eggs and embryos may in some cases have been the only option for a woman or couple to have a biological child. The incident could have affected over 2100 frozen eggs and embryos say the sources.

The organization said it has launched an investigation into the cause of the malfunction, bringing in independent experts. Some of these eggs and embryos have been stored in there for decades.

The facility has set up a call center for patients to arrange and appointment or calls to speak with their physicians. "People move, their addresses change but we've made our best attempts to track down everyone".

The news came to patients in the form of a letter on Thursday. "Obviously the situation that occurred here is devastating for the families involved, and it's devastating for. our staff", DePompei tells NBC News.

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