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University Hospitals CEO Offers Apology and Explanations for Fertility Clinic Meltdown

Photo of Tom Zenty

University Hospital's fertility clinic says it had been experiencing problems with a storage tank for several weeks before it malfunctioned last month and ruined more than 4,000 eggs and embryos. It's twice the number originally reported by the hospital.

University Hospitals says the problem forced the clinic's staff to manually fill liquid nitrogen into the tank to keep the embryos frozen.

UH also says an alarm system was turned off on a storage tank that should have alerted staff to changes in the temperature on March 4.

UH CEO Tom Zenty issued an apology on Tuesday via a video posted on Facebook.

“I can’t say it any more plainly: We failed our fertility-clinic patients. We are sorry. I am sorry. And we’re going to do everything we can to regain our patients trust,” says Zenty. 

Zenty says it's unlikely any of the 4,000 eggs and embryos are viable. About 950 patients were affected.

Zenty promised a continued investigation into what led to the meltdown.

"We understand that our patients are grieving and we grieve with them. Clearly we can't give back what was lost. We hope to recover some of that loss with the medical and emotional support services we have offered."

Cleveland.com reports 22 lawsuits have been filed against University Hospitals.

Jeff is your average chemist turned radio host and reporter. He currently hosts middays on WKSU and has reported extensively on science, politics, business, and the environment.