The disposition of embryos and continued contact with the patient is a significant issue within the embryo storage community. Recently a study was published in the Journal of Fertilization: In Vitro, IVF Worldwide, Reproductive Medicine, Genetics & Stem Cell Biology, which focused on one program’s experience with contacting patients about embryos in storage. The goal of the study was to evaluate the efficacy of one program’s disposition protocol. This policy begins at the initiation of the first cycle and includes verbal and written consent with the knowledge that they will be contacted annually and are to make a decision within 30 days of receiving the letter.
The study, which focused on the Dartmouth-Hitchcock (D-H) ART program, revealed that even with clear guidance and informed consent of patients, following up with them in regards to the disposition of their frozen embryos was a challenge. Getting in contact with patients proved difficult in even the first year of storage. For 26.7% of patients, more than one letter was required to obtain a response from patients and that percentage grew the longer the embryos were in storage. Of those groups, nearly 14% of patients with embryos at 1-year post-freeze never made final disposition decisions, resulting in considerable time and effort on the part of the clinic staff.
For patients dealing with these tough decisions, ReproTech is here to help. We are equipped to handle the long-term storage of embryos in a secure facility. At ReproTech, storage is all we do, and we’ve been the industry leader in long-term reproductive tissue storage for over 30 years. We offer safe, cost-effective, long-term storage so patients can take the time to make the right decision for themselves. Call us today: 651-478-5611.
(Article courtesy of theprovince.com.)
Thousands of orphaned sperm samples and embryos are set for destruction after a B.C. fertility clinic closed.
Nearly 3,000 sperm and more than 1,000 embryos are in cold storage at the cost of almost $2,000 a day after the government-owned Vancouver clinic shut down in November.
The Provincial Health Services Authority, which is responsible for the clinic, has filed a petition in B.C. Supreme Court asking for a court order to have the specimens disposed of if the remaining clients cannot be contacted.
Dr. Jeff Roberts has worked in fertility services for more than 10 years and has never heard of a situation like this in Canada, where a clinic is left with thousands of samples.
“It’s a tough spot to be in,” said Roberts, co-director of the Pacific Centre for Reproductive Medicine, B.C.’s largest fertility clinic.
Roberts said his practice, like other private fertility clinics in B.C., received a number of new clients and samples in the wake of the public facility’s closure.
“The challenge in our field is what to do with samples in certain situations because of course, you don’t want to be seen as destroying life, especially embryos,” Roberts said. “The worst fear, of course, within our field is that sample identity gets mixed up, or a sample gets destroyed. It’s our worst nightmare.”