Local fertility clinic shares frozen egg, embryo safeguards

After reports that two U.S. fertility clinics potentially compromised thousands of frozen eggs and embryos, Action News Jax spoke to a local facility to find out how it secures eggs and embryos.

Doctor Lori Hollins, a physician with Brown Fertility in Jacksonville, said in her 25 years as a reproductive endocrinology and infertility specialist, she has never seen this happen.

“It's a rare event. I like to say that people should really be confident, that it's very unlikely to happen to them,” Hollins said.

She said most facilities are equipped with standard safeguards to protect the delicate embryos.

At Brown Fertility, Hollins said an embryologist monitors the lab and checks everything from the temperature of the room to the levels of liquid nitrogen.

The facility is also equipped with a massive generator that supplies electricity to the lab in the event there’s a power outage. It also sends an alert if anything is out of the ordinary.

“People were still doing IVF (in vitro fertilization) cycles during the hurricane and freezing eggs and embryos, so that just tells you how intricate the alarm system is,” Hollins said.

Hollins said what happened at the two facilities is devastating for parents-to-be, but she doesn’t want it to deter people from freezing their eggs and embryos.

“We take this so seriously because we're trying to help people have families,” she said. “We want to make sure that we have all of the processes and procedures in place to make sure something like that doesn't happen.”