Ever since the report of cryotank failures at two medical centers (with no relation to Spring), we’ve received numerous requests from patients, concerned over the safety of their precious eggs and embryos, to store their multiple eggs and embryos in different tanks. We understand and share your concerns.
In reviewing the potential causes of the recently reported failures, we understand that there are two possibilities: mechanical failure or human errors. In the last 50 years of practicing IVF, we see human failures as the greater risk. Cryotanks are double layered and not dependent on electricity (except for the alarm systems). We have backup power for two separate alarm systems and do not rely on alarm systems but manually and visually inspect the tank levels three times each week. Tanks are maintained at a level that should provide stable cryopreservation without refilling for over 30 days.
Our team is committed to your safety and we want to minimize risk of any human error (eg. misplacing, thawing or discarding the wrong sample). Although extremely rare, we view this as a bigger risk than any potential risk of tank mechanical failure. If we were to spread samples among multiple tanks (why stop at 2) it would tremendously increase the chance of a catastrophic clerical mistakes, or error related to unnecessary manipulation.
Our principles are the following:
- Implement simple protocols with redundant safeguards.
- Follow that protocol and execute it perfectly.
- Minimize risk to your eggs or embryos by unnecessary manipulation or movements, whether before or after cryopreservation.
- Care for your precious cells as we would our own.
It may seem crazy to put all your “eggs in one basket” but we believe strongly that when executed well (which we do), there is no better solution than a simple and redundant one.
I hope this explanation makes sense.
We take your concerns seriously. Please feel free to raise them if additional concerns arise.
Dr. Vaccari and Your Spring Medical Team