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Texas Fertility Center Responds to Dateline Story on IVF Lab Mix-Up

Austin, TX (PRWEB) January 10, 2013

Texas Fertility Center (TFC), a pioneer in assisted reproductive technologies, has rigid laboratory protocols in place to minimize the likelihood that the scenario that occurred in an Ohio IVF lab could ever happen in it's IVF laboratory.

The Dateline story “Inconceivable” aired Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013 and detailed how a mix-up occurred in a fertility lab resulting in transfer of embryos to the wrong patient during an IVF cycle. In 2009, Carolyn Savage, her husband Sean by her side, received the embryo belonging to another couple during the embryo transfer stage of IVF. Carolyn became pregnant, and soon learned of the error which DNA testing confirmed. Both women, the biological and gestational mothers, then began a long process of grief, resolution and healing.

After watching the Dateline episode, Texas Fertility Center Reproductive Endocrinologist Dr. Kaylen Silverberg immediately responded with an open letter to TFC patients explaining how TFC does everything humanly possible to prevent mistakes in its certified IVF laboratory.

“There are many misconceptions associated with infertility, and I want to ensure that people understand the extraordinary high standards that are used to govern reputable, certified fertility labs,” Dr. Silverberg says. “I liken this ‘Inconceivable’ story to a plane crash. While the news is tragic and shocking, it’s not representative of the standard of care that occurs every day in reproductive medicine.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 150,000 fresh IVF cycles take place in the US every year. That translates to approximately 1.5 million IVF cycles in the past decade alone. The fact that mistakes such as this one are such rare events serves as testimony to the exacting standards and safeguards that reputable IVF program have put in place.

The Texas Fertility Center laboratory policies and procedures are regularly documented, internally scrutinized and externally inspected by the College of American Pathologists (CAP), as well as the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“Our fertility laboratory maintains the highest quality, and several of our embryologists actually serve as CAP inspectors – inspecting other laboratories around the country,” adds Dr. Silverberg.

Texas Fertility Center details on its website an exhaustive process for protecting individuals and couples from human error during embryo transfer. Read more about Texas Fertility Center and Austin IVF lab protocols and long-standing safeguards here.

For example, only one patient's gametes (embryos, egg or sperm) can be in each lab area at a time. Incubators are labeled by patient name and each patient’s identity is confirmed before and after the gametes are removed or returned to the incubator.

“We hope that television viewers who saw the Dateline piece and are currently undergoing fertility treatment understand the extreme safeguards in place at accredited fertility labs,” says Tom Turner, Chief Embryologist with Texas Fertility Center’s partner lab, Austin IVF. “Proper embryo identification and error prevention protocols, coupled with a rigorous CAP management and accountability system should reassure patients that their embryos are in capable hands during oocyte (egg) retrieval and transfer.”

Texas Fertility Center and its fully accredited laboratory partner, Austin IVF, maintain the highest standards and take every possible precaution to ensure that IVF lab mix-ups do not devastate a couple undergoing fertility treatment.

“Not on our watch,” says Dr. Silverberg.

About Texas Fertility Center
Texas Fertility Center (TFC), one of the nation’s leading full-service infertility practices, provides advanced Infertility and Reproductive Endocrinology services to patients throughout Texas, the Southwestern United States, and the Americas. Since 1980, TFC has been recognized nationally for outstanding pregnancy rates, cutting-edge laboratory procedures, and innovative research programs. For more information, please visit

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