Embryo Mix Up

POSTED: Monday, September 28, 2009 - 7:50am

UPDATED: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 11:58pm

Last week, a woman in Ohio gave birth to a baby boy, from another couple's embryo mistakenly implanted in her. While in Louisiana as many as a hundred couples may have been affected by labeling errors at another in vitro fertilization clinic. That clinic has now been shut down.

A Louisiana couple hoped in vitro fertilization was the answer to their prayers. But Kim and Abraham Whitney’s attorney says, instead, those embryos are missing and they are now the second to file a lawsuit against a clinic forced to close its doors.

On Friday Ochsner Health System CEO, Doctor Pat Quinlan announced the indefinite closure and internal audit of the IVF Center at Elmwood.

"We are disappointed in ourselves in what we have learned to date. We are deeply sorry for the concerns, anxiety and fear we know this causes our patients," said Quinlan.

But just how many patients are involved is now the big question. In July, Heather and Duane Herbert filed suit after, they say, a pair of their frozen embryos also disappeared. "They were notified in august of 2008 that the facility of the two that they had still there had been mislabeled and that they didn't know which ones were my couples' or someone elses," said Herbert family attorney Kara Samuels.

The clinic is reportedly contacting about a hundred couples who may have been affected by labeling mix-ups and while Oschner maintains no embryos were wrongly implanted attorneys for the Whitney's call that their greatest fear.

An Ohio woman gave birth to another couple's baby mistakenly implanted in her by an unrelated clinic. The baby will go back to his biological family who called the birth mother a guardian angel. While back in Louisiana families now search for their own peace of mind as couples, attorneys, and a clinic, now sort through the confusion. Both lawsuits were filed as class action suits.

The Herberts' lawsuit also claims the Food and Drug Administration found the clinic was not doing required screenings for sexually transmitted diseases prior to freezing the embryos.