After a brief vacation, we are back! Here is a very unsettling report out of Hong Kong:
A Hong Kong fertility clinic has offered two women compensation after admitting it implanted the embryos of one in the other by mistake. Victory ART Laboratory realized the error quickly and removed the embryos from the wrong woman, reports the BBC. The embryos were discarded.
Hong Kong’s Council on Human Reproductive Technology (CHRT) found that the mistake was “due to failure of a junior embryologist to check the labelling of the embryos,” it said in its incident report released on the weekend.
The IVF clinic informed both women and gave them counselling. It also reassigned the junior staffer to other duties and initiated a “double-checking mechanism,” said the CHRT.
The council decided not to suspend the clinic’s licence because the error was “human rather than systematic” and it was satisfied the clinic had taken the necessary steps to rectify the matter.
According to the BBC, some pregnant clients of the clinic took their anger online, with one saying she would consider a DNA test on her baby to check if it was hers.
Fortunately, these types of incidents are very aberrational and IVF patients working reputable clinics should not be overly concerned. Nevertheless, mistakes happen and you can mitigate your risk by doing extensive background research into your clinic before entrusting them with your embryos.