University Hospitals faces 2 lawsuits over lost embryos: 4 things to know

Cleveland-based University Hospitals recently notified about 700 patients that the frozen eggs and embryos stored at one of its fertility centers were damaged after the temperatures in a storage tank rose. Two couples who lost embryos due to the storage tank malfunction have now sued University Hospitals.

Here are four things to know.

1. A liquid nitrogen freezer at the UH Fertility Center, which is housed in Beachwood, Ohio-based University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center, unexpectedly rose sometime between the afternoon of March 3 and the morning of March 4. While the storage tank had an audible alarm sounding that would have alerted workers to a temperature change, no staff members were in the facility overnight.

2. On March 11, a couple who lost two embryos due to the storage tank malfunction sued the hospital, according to the Daily Journal. Amber and Elliott Ash filed the lawsuit and are seeking class-action status. The couple stored two embryos at the UH Fertility Center in 2003. They were told over the weekend the embryos are no longer viable, according to the report.

3. On March 12, a Pennsylvania couple sued University Hospitals. The couple claims their frozen embryo was destroyed by the storage unit malfunction, according to The Wichita Eagle.

4. Hospital officials are still investigating the cause of the problem.

More articles on quality and infection control: 

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Second US fertility clinic experiences freezer malfunction resulting in damage to eggs, embryos
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