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Entries in Embryos (2)

Thursday
Nov012012

NY Fertility Clinic Saves Embryos from Hurricane Sandy

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Among all the rescues carried out during the chaos caused by Hurricane Sandy, the most delicate was the mission to save embryos in rows of incubators that were in jeopardy when the NYU Fertility Clinic lost its power.

The Manhattan clinic lost power shortly after Sandy struck Monday night.  A generator perched atop the 8-story building kept incubators running through the night, but flooding in the basement cut off its fuel supply.

"The generator ran out of gas around 8:15 Tuesday morning," said Dr. James Grifo, the clinic's director.

Without power, rows of incubators housing delicate embryos at womb-temperature for in vitro fertilization began to cool.  But Grifo and his team took action, hoisting five-gallon cans of diesel fuel up darkened stairwells to feed the failing generator.

"It was really a privilege to be part of that," Grifo said of his staff's "heroic" efforts.

The fuel bought the team enough time to transfer the embryos into liquid nitrogen, where they can be stored indefinitely.

The embryos were secured as another urgent issue arose.  At 10 a.m., a patient arrived for an egg retrieval -- a surgical procedure timed down to the hour after a two-week run of expensive fertility drugs.

Grifo loaded the woman into his car, along with her husband and their baby, and rushed them to a colleague's clinic uptown.

"It's amazing what people can do when everyone's on the same page," Grifo said, adding that the rest of the clinic's patients were booked into clinics throughout the city to "salvage" their cycles.

"It's a testament to the people in New York who work in medicine," he added.  "Some of our most vicious competitors offered assistance."

Sandy spawned record-breaking tides around lower Manhattan, prompting power outages from East 39th Street to Battery Park at the southern tip of the island.  The NYU Fertility Center is on First Avenue and 38th street, just a block from the overflowing East River.

The storm forced NYU Langone Medical Center to evacuate 300 patients in gusts of wind topping 70 miles per hour.  Cells, tissues and animals used for medical research were left to die in failing refrigerators, freezers and incubators.

But thanks to Grifo and his team, eggs and embryos were spared.

"Hopefully we'll get some babies out of it, and that'll be a nice story as well," he said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan122012

In IVF, Is Three Embryos Too Many?

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(GLASGOW) -- A new study suggests women undergoing in-vitro fertilization (IVF) should receive no more than two embryos, regardless of their age or the quality of the embryos. But some fertility doctors say the benefits and risks of transferring extra embryos still depend on the woman.

In IVF, a woman’s eggs are fertilized outside of her body and the resulting embryos are transferred into her uterus. Because not all embryos will successfully implant and result in pregnancy, doctors often transfer more than one -- a practice that increases the odds of multiples and, consequently, the risk of complications.

The British study, which was based on a review of more than 120,000 IVF cycles yielding 33,514 live births in the UK, found a higher live birth rate and lower complication rate among women who received two embryos compared with women who received three, regardless of their age. Transferring two embryos was associated with a higher live birth rate than transferring one, and the live birth rate was lower among women over 40, irrespective of the number of embryos transferred.

“In older and younger women, the transfer of two embryos was associated with greatest live birth rates,” the study authors wrote in their report, published Wednesday in The Lancet. “A clear implication of our study is that transfer of three embryos should no longer be supported in women of any age.”

The American Society of Reproductive Medicine and the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology currently recommend transferring no more than two embryos in women younger than 38, no more than four embryos in women aged 38 to 40, and no more than five embryos in women 41 to 42.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio