Ochsner shuts down in vitro after mislabeling of embryos

It is hard to think of something that could be more traumatic or concerning for families looking to in vitro for pregnancy options beyond what seems to now be the reality many are facing today. In New Orleans, Louisiana, Ochsner hospital has shut down their in vitro fertility program after realizing that their Elmwood facility is currently facing a huge mismanagement issue of embryos. As embryos are an integral part of in vitro pregnancy for families looking to have children, the fear for some is that this mismanagement has led to terrifying questions that remain to be sufficiently answered.

The Times-Picayune reports that the facility has shut down its program indefinitely in light of a recent discovery that its embryos have been mislabeled.

In her feature, Michelle Hunter reports

Hospital officials believe about 100 couples have been affected by the labeling errors, and began contacting them on Thursday. Officials could not say the cause of the mix-up but said, out of an abundance of caution, they are conducting an audit of the entire in vitro fertilization program, which began in 2003.

“Until we complete the full audit, we can’t really speculate on what happened,” said Chief Medical Officer Joseph Bisordi. He offered no other details than to say there were embryos that appeared to be mislabeled and unaccounted for.”

The problem first surfaced a year ago, according to Bisordi. Ochsner officials began an evaluation and brought in an “outside expert” who determined the department needed to expand its audit.

This is a huge matter that has to leave many unsettled. While CEO Pat Quinlan claims that “no embryos had been implanted in the wrong mother,” until an investigation occurs, many will be likely concerned. It will be important to see how the hospital responds to the matter and how transparent their investigation will be as the article notes the matter affects approximately 100 different families.

Embryo storage is an extremely important and emotionally significant matter for families to face and when a hospital mishandles the situation, the best case scenario is still disheartening and problematic. This blog will continue to follow the story and readers can feel free to contact our offices and bookmark the site to find out the latest information as it becomes available. If you need legal advice or need an attorney regarding this matter, please contact the Berniard Firm at (504) 527-6225 or text with your name (504) 458-6225. We will alert you to your legal rights and connect you with medical and other relevant experts who can let you know just what your rights are in this matter.

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