Frozen eggs may have been damaged by faulty liquid at London clinic

Posted: 14th February 2024

More than 100 women who had eggs and embryos frozen at a leading clinic have been told they may have been damaged due to a fault in the freezing process.

The clinic, at Guy’s Hospital in London, said it may have inadvertently used some bottles of a faulty freezing solution in September and October 2022.

But it said it did not know the liquid was defective at the time.

The fertility regulator, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), is investigating.

It is believed that many of the 136 patients affected have subsequently had cancer treatment since having their eggs or embryos frozen, which may have left them infertile. This means they now may not be able to conceive with their own eggs.

The patients have only recently been told their eggs and embryos may not survive the thawing process if they were frozen with the faulty solution.

HFEA said a safety notice about the faulty freezing solution was issued by the authority to all clinics in February 2023. However, this was several months after bottles from a faulty batch were used at Guy’s Hospital’s Assisted Conception Unit.

HFEA have described the investigation at Guy’s and St Thomas’s Assisted Conception Unit as “ongoing”, adding that it would take “any further action required”.

Rachel Cutting, HFEA’s director of compliance, said: “We appreciate any incident may be concerning to patients.

“We advise patients to contact their own clinic to raise any queries or concerns, as the clinic is best placed to advise individuals on how they may, or may not, have been affected.”

HFEA said the faulty liquid may have been sent to other UK clinics, but the authority was not aware of any other cases in which patients may have been affected.

A spokesperson for Guy’s and St Thomas’s NHS Foundation Trust said the manufacturing issue “may adversely impact the chance of frozen egg or embryo survival during thawing”.

The spokesperson added: “We have contacted all of those affected, and apologised for the delay in doing so and any distress this may have caused.

“We are supporting those who may have been impacted, including through our counselling service, and would urge anyone with concerns to speak to us directly via the dedicated phoneline we have set up.”

Source: Frozen eggs may have been damaged by faulty liquid at London clinic – BBC News

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