Embryos destroyed by hospitals
The news that there have been a spate of incidents in which embryos stored for IVF have been accidentally destroyed comes as blow to all of those working to ensure improved standards are maintained in all of our hospitals.
“Coming more than 10 years after the first series of failings, which saw sperm samples stored for IVF at a number of hospitals destroyed as a result of failure to maintain the freezing system, this is sad and disappointing news” commented Chris Thorne, the solicitor who acted for the victims of those initial incidents and who brought about changes in the law which enable men and women who have suffered such loss to bring a legal claim. “Despite assurances that more care would be taken, couples are still being deprived of the chance to have a family by simple mechanical, or in the latest case, administrative errors. “
The recent tragedy involved the destruction of a woman’s embryos at the Leicester Royal Infirmary in November, apparently due to a mix up with another patient’s medical notes.
Dr Jane Blower, consultant embryologist for Leicester’s Hospitals, is reported as saying yesterday:
“We fully understand that the couple are devastated and we are very, very sorry that this happened to them as a result of our mistake.”
“This is the first time anything like this has happened since the Assisted Conception Service opened in 1989 and though that is of no consolation to the couple we want to reassure other prospective parents that whilst this was clearly an awful mistake, it was a complete one-off.”
Unfortunately what may be a “one-off “ for Leicester is not a “one-off” for NHS patients generally.
If you have experienced similar issues and wish to discuss your concerns please contact Chris Thorne.