Thousands of eggs, embryos possibly damaged at Ohio hospital

CLEVELAND (AP) — Officials say more than 2,000 frozen eggs and embryos may have been damaged due to a refrigerator malfunction at an Ohio fertility clinic.

Patti DePompei, president of University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital and MacDonald Women’s Hospital, calls the situation “absolutely devastating.” She says the temperature in one of the two large freezers preserving specimens at the UH Fertility Center near Cleveland rose above acceptable limits overnight Saturday for unknown reasons.

Hospital officials say more than 500 patients were affected, including some that provided samples in the 1980’s. The hospital notified patients Tuesday.

All of the samples have been moved to another storage tank at the facility.

Patients typically pay about $12,000 without insurance for in vitro fertilization. It’s not clear how the affected patients will be compensated.