University Hospitals details plan to health department after fertility clinic failure

CLEVELAND-- University Hospitals submitted its correction plan to the Ohio Department of Health following a failure that affected thousands of eggs and embryos.

The incident happened at UH Ahuja Medical Center on March 4. The hospital said the temperature of the tissue storage bank at the fertility clinic unexpectedly fluctuated.

According to documents from the Ohio Department of Health, 930 patients, and 2,751 eggs and embryos were affected. Later estimates from the hospital were higher.

The health department said the facility failed to ensure one liquid nitrogen storage tank was inspected and maintained. The report indicates University Hospitals knew about issues before the incident in March.

The health department said the alarm on the storage container sounded in January because of a malfunctioning autofill sensor. A staff member reported hearing the alarm inside the facility, but did not receive remote notification. The manufacturer was alerted to the problem and staff were told to manually fill it with liquid nitrogen.

As part of its plan, University Hospitals said it permanently removed the container from service and moved the eggs and embryos into another container. The hospital system said it bought four new liquid nitrogen tanks.

Tanks now have a remote alarm system that notifies five people. The plan also said staff is now performing regular maintenance checks in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations.

The lab director is responsible for weekly reports to making sure the new policies are being followed.

More stories on the University Hospitals fertility clinic here