Across the fertility community we are all saddened to learn of the recent report in California of an error during fertility treatment affecting two separate couples. Such an error is an incredibly rare event given over 2.5 million IVF cycles are performed annually worldwide.

At Shady Grove Fertility, we have one of the most stringent, long-standing chain of custody protocols in the industry that was developed and continuously refined over the past 30 years. The system uses three unique identifiers along with two embryologists independently confirming the providence of the sperm, eggs, and embryos in each case. Additionally, chain of custody at SGF is maintained using an electronic witnessing system, RI Witness. This technology enables every sperm, egg, embryo, test tube, and petri dish to be electronically connected to the specific patient. Electronic witnessing creates a detailed, time-stamped log of the step-by-step movement of a patient’s genetic material and has an unignorable alert should there be a possibility of an incorrect mix. This alarm occurs prior to not upon a potential mix-up. Final approval and validation are performed by the physician performing the procedure.

We regret and recognize the impact such rare events have on the confidence of patients receiving care. Over the past 30 years at SGF we have constantly strived to provide the most comprehensive and successful fertility care. We recognize that the trust patients place in SGF is sacred. We are confident that our proven process enables us to minimize risk, avoid errors, and help patients successfully and safely achieve their family building dreams.

*SGF is not affiliated with the clinic mentioned in this story.