Malfunctions At Fertility Clinics Compromise Thousands Of Frozen Eggs And Embryos

One of two freezers storing specimens at an Ohio fertility clinic failed over the weekend, leaving roughly 700 patients with questions over possible damage to their samples.

Staff at UH Fertility Center at Ahuja Medical Center said a malfunction in the liquid nitrogen storage tank was discovered Sunday, and occurred at some point after workers had left the previous afternoon. The tank’s temperature had risen to a dangerous level, possibly causing irreparable damage to its contents.

The first lawsuit has been filed in response to the case, by an Ohio couple who had two frozen embryos stored in the freezer. Amber and Elliot Ash had their 2-year-old son via in vitro fertilization, and the remaining embryos were stored for the future at UH Fertility Center.

Elliot is a cancer survivor who had sperm stored in his early 20s prior to cancer treatment. After he married Amber, he transported the frozen sperm himself to the facility, recalling it to be “the most important drive of (his) life.”

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