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UK hospital begs as over 100 women’s frozen eggs, embryo damage

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Guy’s Hospital in London has extended apologies to over 100 women following the discovery that their eggs and embryos might have suffered damage during the freezing process.

The hospital’s NHS-operated clinic took action after uncovering potential usage of faulty freezing solution bottles between September and October 2022, affecting a total of 136 women.

While the clinic was unaware of the liquid’s defectiveness at the time, it acknowledged the gravity of the situation, recognizing that the manufacturing issue could significantly impact the survival chances of frozen eggs or embryos during thawing.

A spokesperson from Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust expressed the institution’s deep remorse for the delay in informing the affected individuals and any distress caused by the oversight. They assured that the hospital had promptly reached out to all impacted parties.

The situation is particularly concerning given that many of the affected women, as reported by the BBC, had undergone cancer treatment, potentially complicating their ability to conceive naturally.

Rachel Cutting, the director of compliance and information at the Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority (HFEA), shed light on the ongoing investigation at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Assisted Conception Unit. She underscored the HFEA’s commitment to thoroughly investigating the matter and taking necessary action based on the investigation’s findings.

“We will take any further action required as a result of this investigation, in line with our standard incidents process,” Cutting affirmed, emphasizing the importance of accountability and transparency in such sensitive matters.

Moreover, the HFEA revealed that while the affected product may have been distributed to other UK clinics, there was no evidence of patients being impacted elsewhere. 

However, the authority stressed the need for vigilance and diligence across all clinics to ensure patient safety and uphold medical standards.

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