Too many IVF mistakes – Wrong sperm used by fertility clinic


A report issued by the regulator states that a clinic used the wrong donor sperm during a fertility treatment.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) issued a warning that clinics were making too many mistakes.

The report indicated that one in every 100 women who received treatment experienced some type of ‘adverse incident’, although for many this would not have had any effect on their chances of having a baby. The regulator has called on clinics to eliminate all these ‘avoidable errors’.

During the period from 2010 to 2012, there were 1679 adverse incidents which occurred in fertility clinics based in the UK. Of these, three were listed in the grade-A, the most serious, category.

One instance involves a woman having treatment with donated sperm. She wanted a child who would be related genetically to an older sibling, however, the clinic used sperm from the wrong donor. No further details are to be released in a bid to protect the anonymity of the family.

Another case, which falls into the grade-A category, involves the use of contaminated embryos. A third incident involved usage of sperm that was removed from storage too quickly.

According to the report, the number of grade-B incidents, which includes embryo loss or malfunctions of equipment which affects the quality of the embryo, stood at 714.

In the grade-C error category, there were 815 cases which involved eggs being unusable or the woman’s ovaries being ‘over-stimulated’ to produce eggs.

The chairwoman of HFEA, Sally Cheshire, said that they are committed to ensuring that these clinics provide the highest quality and safest service to all patients. She said that the results indicate that the clinics are doing a good job in minimising the level of serious errors and this should be acknowledged.

She added that the number of grade-C mistakes, such as confidentiality breaches, is too high.

Patients have stated that these mistakes may appear to be less serious when first looking at it, however, they are very upsetting.

Ms Cheshire said that clinics should eradicate these avoidable errors as this will reduce patient distress and improve the overall process of IVF treatment.

Image Credit: SantaRosa OLD SKOOL


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