Starting a family is not a cake walk. Many couples experience fertility problems. These couples have a myriad of options to help them have children. These options include in vitro fertilization, surrogacy, or freezing eggs and embryos. Over the past several years, there has been a large spike in women going to clinics to have their eggs and embryos frozen. There are many reasons for this spike. The reasons could be infertility, wanting to delay having a family, being sick with diseases such as cancer, and so on. Women and these couples that turn to freezing their eggs put so much trust into these clinics. However, 700 patients that trusted a Cleveland-area clinic may have not trusted the right facility.
It was announced on March 9, 2018 that more than 2,000 eggs and embryos may no longer be viable because of a malfunction in one of the storage tanks. The tank was compromised due to temperature rise between Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. The tank was under no supervision during that time. Sadly, due to the temperature rise, most of the specimens in that unit were compromised. The only way to know if these eggs and embryos are viable is to insert them into their respective donors. That would mean that 700 patients would have to use their eggs and embryos at a time that they are not ready or wanting to do it.
Who is at Fault?
It is hard to pinpoint exactly one person that is at fault in this situation. Yes, there might have been a technician that did something wrong to make the unit increase in temperature. Or it might have just been a mechanical malfunction. However, the clinic would be at fault in either case. The real question: why were there no safety or emergency precautions connected to the freezing unit?
Since there were no backup generators or any fail-safe precautions in place, the clinic is responsible for this loss. The Cleveland clinic is still doing an investigation into what exactly happened to this unit to give some solace to these grieving couples and women.