Between the overnight hours Saturday to Sunday, one of the egg and embryo liquid nitrogen storage tanks began warming up.
Patti DePompei, president of UH MacDonald Women's Hospital and UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, told NBC News this malfunction may have caused damage to numerous eggs and embryos - some of which have been stored for decades.
USA Today reported the status of the 2,000 eggs and embryos was still not clear.
"Until we know the issue that caused this we will be monitoring the tank 24/7", Liu told Cleveland.com. About 700 patients were affected, per the Cleveland Plain Dealer. DePompei said they are investigating how this happened. There has been a temperature fluctuation that may have damaged the stored eggs they said.
Women and families choose to freeze their eggs or embryos for a number of reasons to try and have a baby at a later date. Some of these have been stored for decades. They were mixed. Each vial contained two or three eggs or embryos from each patient.
The tank was plugged into the hospital's emergency power supply and was therefore hooked up to a generator, so it did not lose power, De Pompei said, per the Plain Dealer. Hospital staff has set up a call center to arrange meetings or calls between patients and their physicians to address their concerns.
At the tissue storage bank, these eggs and embryos are stored in liquid nitrogen according to a hospital spokesperson's statement yesterday (8th of March 2018).
The hospital has asked patients or those with questions to call the UH Fertility Center information line at 216-286-9740.
"Right now, our patients come first".
With more women deciding on a late motherhood, freezing eggs has become increasingly popular.
Costs for fertility treatments and in vitro fertilization range from clinic to clinic but usually runs to be about tens of thousands of dollars.