Page URL:

Singapore fertility clinic faces sperm mix-up probe

8 November 2010
Appeared in BioNews 583

A private medical centre in Singapore is under investigation after a mix-up during IVF treatment resulted in the birth of a child conceived with the wrong sperm

The discovery was made after the couple involved were told their child's blood group, B, was not a possible outcome of the combination of their own blood types - O and A. A subsequent DNA test showed the baby carried the mother's DNA but not the believed father's.

Dr Cheng Li Chang, the medical director of Thomson Fertility Centre, which operates the clinic where the couple received treatment, said: 'We fully empathise with the couple, and are very sorry and distressed over what has happened'. He added: 'In our 22 years of operation this is the first such incident and we are taking this very seriously'.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has begun a full investigation into the cause of the problem. Its audits have revealed there are shortcomings in the centre's current processes, including lab personnel handling more than one specimen at a time which may increase the risk of mix-ups. The MOH has instructed the centre to suspend all new assisted reproduction treatment and to stop admitting new patients. Existing patients will have the choice to continue treatment at the centre or transfer to another.

Singapore IVF baby does not have DNA of 'father': lawyer
AFP |  3 November 2010
Singapore medical centre in IVF sperm mix-up
Daily Telegraph |  4 November 2010
Thomson Fertility Centre ordered to stop all new procedures
TODAY Online |  5 November 2010
Thomson Medical suspended from new assisted reproduction activities
Channel NewsAsia |  4 November 2010
We're sorry
Straits Times |  4 November 2010
18 August 2014 - by Antony Starza-Allen 
An Italian judge has ordered that two children born following an embryo mix-up at a Rome fertility clinic should reside with the birth mother and not with the twins' biological parents....
26 November 2012 - by Maria Sheppard 
New laws to clarify the legal parentage and status of children born through assisted reproductive technologies have been proposed in Singapore....
20 September 2010 - by Ben Jones 
A Canadian doctor is being sued by two of his patients who discovered their children were not genetically related to the believed donors, reports the Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail...
13 September 2010 - by Rose Palmer 
A new technology used by Hull IVF unit to prevent clinical mix-ups when sperm and eggs are combined in the laboratory is to be rolled-out for use across the UK, and has been nominated for an award...
4 May 2010 - by Seil Collins 
The number of reported mistakes at IVF centres in England and Wales has doubled over one year, rising from 182 in 2007/08 to 334 in 2008/09. Incidents range from technical failures to serious mix-ups. Cases where embryos have been lost, implanted into the wrong patient, or fertilised with the wrong sperm have all been reported....
14 December 2009 - by Dr Vivienne Raper 
The UK's fertility industry regulator, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), is poised to report back this week on embryo mix-ups at Guys and St Thomas' Hospital in London. According to The Sun and Independent newspapers, a HFEA licence committee was due to meet today to review the findings of an investigation into what went wrong at the hospital and how to prevent a repeat incident. The hospital came under scrutiny after the embryos of three women were destr...
to add a Comment.

By posting a comment you agree to abide by the BioNews terms and conditions

Syndicate this story - click here to enquire about using this story.