Keeping Frozen Embryos Safe at EVMS

Posted at 10:20 AM, Mar 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-20 05:01:15-04

In Vitro Fertilization is an expensive, emotional and lengthy process for many. The tragic loss of thousands of frozen embryos at two separate fertility clinics this month has sparked concern over storage and safety for those who have struggled with infertility.

​News 3 spoke with Dr. Gerard Celia at EVMS Jones Institute about what they are doing to ensure the safety of their patients embryos at their facility. EVMS Jones Institute cuts risk by using liquid nitrogen in smaller storage tanks versus bulk storage and using the single tier storage method.  Single tier storage, versus stacking or double tier storage, ensures that even if the liquid nitrogen levels go down the tank would have to run dry to the bottom of the tank before the embryos are affected by the temperature change.

Every Cryo Tank at the EVMS Jones Institute has an active alarm system and their lab is staffed or monitored 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In the event of a catastrophic event the staff has the ability to move the tanks off site quickly and safely.  Dr. Celia also said that if a tank fails completely it takes 24 hours for the embryos inside to be affected which gives them plenty of time to move them safely.