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 failure caused the temperature to rise, ultimately making the eggs and embryos at the facility lose their viability. University Hospitals officials have been looking into the issue. These eggs are retrieved from the ovaries and taken to a laboratory where they are cooled to subzero temperatures in a liquid nitrogen tank. Patients were notified beginning Tuesday but the hospital shared the problem with news media Thursday evening. This could be heart-breaking for around 500 to 600 families, say the officials.
The dilemma for those involved is that their eggs and embryos have to be completely thawed to determine whether they are still viable, but if thawed, they can not be refrozen.
These stored eggs and embryos may in some cases have been the only option for a woman or couple to have a biological child.
"We are so very sorry this happened, and we want to do all that we can to support our patients and families through this very hard time", DePompei said.
Between the overnight hours of Saturday, March 3 and Sunday, March 4, one of the egg and embryo liquid nitrogen storage tanks began warming up.
'Obviously the situation that occurred here is devastating for the families involved, and it's devastating for our physicians and our nurses and our staff as well, ' added DePompei. We are bringing in independent experts to ensure we understand all aspects of this occurrence and do everything possible to address the situation. They said in a statement, "Right now, our patients come first".
"We are so very sorry this happened and we want to do all we can to support our patients and families through this very hard time".
The facility has set up a call center for patients to arrange and appointment or calls to speak with their physicians.
Patients are encouraged to call the hotline at 216-286-9740, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m.to 8 p.m., and Saturday from 8 a.m. though 1 p.m.
Now at 28, Katelynn considered those 10 eggs and four embryos her future. The only way to know if they are still viable is to implant them says the hospital. According to the latest figures from the ARSM, more than 6,200 women froze their eggs in 2015.