University Hospitals issues new safety, procedural measures following fertility clinic error

Cleveland-based University Hospitals outlined new safety and procedural measures in a memo to employees after a medical error led to a storage tank temperature malfunction that resulted in the damage of 4,000 eggs and embryos in March, reports News 5 Cleveland.

About 950 fertility patients were notified that their frozen eggs and embryos may no longer be viable in after a liquid nitrogen freezer at the UH Fertility Center, which is housed Beachwood, Ohio-based University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center, unexpectedly rose sometime between the afternoon of March 3 and the morning of March 4. 

As a result of the fertility clinic error, UH officials implemented new safety measures, such as replacing equipment in the lab and hiring additional embryologists, nurses and support staff. Further, the hospital reviewed all temperature-regulated storage systems throughout its facilities.

UH is also in the process of developing a plan to better monitor these storage systems in the future and is asking employees to report any potential risks immediately, especially those pertaining to patient or employee safety.

The memo to employees, which was sent April 19, also informed staff that the clinic error will not affect their ability to serve patients, as UH has insurance programs to protect it against the unspecified damages the lawsuits seek.

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