CHARLOTTE, N.C. — As lawsuits make their way through the legal system, a Charlotte doctor is trying to prevent the massive failure that led to the loss of thousands of frozen eggs and embryos more than a year ago.
You may recall two fertility clinics in two states had major equipment failures that led to those losses. But Dr. Bradley Hurst, Atrium Health Women’s Institute, said he and a team were working on new protocols to prevent a repeat.
Nichelle Sublet wasn’t sure this day would ever come. She’s pregnant with a boy.
“After we’ve had six years of devastation heartbreak, five miscarriages, and countless fertility treatments."
As Mrs. North Carolina, she went through so much she’s made infertility her platform – trying to encourage women to think about things like freezing their eggs and other fertility issues as soon as possible.
So she was shocked when not one but two clinics destroyed thousands of frozen eggs and embryos.
“I just could not imagine. I felt for those couples. It takes a lot to produce the eggs, takes a lot to make embryos.”
Dr. Hurst is part of a team of fertility specialists around the country implementing new policies to make sure that kind of loss doesn’t happen again.
Some of the new fail-safes included adding extra alarms to the tanks holding the eggs and embryos.
"We've always had alarms but top of tanks are new, more valuable.”
He said SART, the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies, was doing more frequent and more in-depth inspections.
“This was a terrible loss for so many people but have to go into it with faith hope and it can work out for other couples.”
If you’re a patient considering freezing your eggs or going through the frozen embryo process, one really important thing to be aware of – make sure that your doctor works at a clinic that is a member of SART.