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Another blunder at IVF Wales as donor eggs are destroyed

28 November 2011
Appeared in BioNews 635

Another blunder at IVF Wales in Cardiff destroyed a batch of 'exceptional' eggs only hours after they were donated, leaving a couple devastated.

The news was broken to the couple, who have been trying to have a baby for seven years, over the phone on the evening they returned from the clinic. Chris, 35, and Lorraine, 34, from Barry, south Wales, have decided to go public as part of their own quest for answers. They are now calling for urgent action to prevent others suffering the sort of heartache they have had to endure as a result of the clinic's mistakes, and have begun legal proceedings.

In total ten eggs were donated by Lorraine's sister in February this year, which were described by consultants as 'of exceptional quality'. But within hours, they received a call from IVF Wales telling them they had all been destroyed in what was described as a 'mechanical error'. In a meeting at the clinic that evening, the couple, Lorraine's sister, and their parents were told a pipette containing all ten eggs had hit a microscope during transfer to a dish.

Their loss is just the latest in a series of errors at the same clinic: earlier this month, the clinic mistakenly destroyed sperm donated by cancer patients about to undergo treatment. The mistake was revealed by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which regulates IVF centres in the UK. The watchdog's report said it was 'extremely concerned' by the errors at the clinic this year.

Dr Graham Shortland, medical director for Cardiff and Vale University Health Board which hosts IVF Wales, said: 'As those involved have instigated legal proceedings against IVF Wales, we are unable to comment in detail on this case'.

'However, we would like to make clear that all clinical incidents are reported robustly, in line with HFEA requirements. Patients are offered support throughout the process, investigations are rigorous and there are systems in place to ensure lessons are learned', he added.

SOURCES & REFERENCES
Couple devastated after clumsy IVF clinic destroys entire supply of precious donor eggs
Daily Mail |  22 November 2011
Couple tell of devastation at IVF blunder
Wales Online |  23 November 2011
Couple to sue IVF clinic over eggs blunder
Mirror |  22 November 2011
IVF couple left 'numb' after Cardiff clinic destroys egg supply
Metro |  22 November 2011
IVF couple 'numb' at eggs blunder
Press Association |  23 November 2011
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