Hoping to one day become natural fathers, three men suffering from illnesses which threaten their fertility choose to freeze their sperm for safekeeping at a Chicago hospital.
But now these men’s dreams may have been dashed after Northwestern Memorial Hospital accidentally destroyed their stored sperm, claims a lawsuit filed Tuesday.
Hundreds of other men could be in a similar situation and have been alerted by the hospital.
Destroyed: Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago accidentally destroyed at least three men's stored sperm, claims a lawsuit filed today
One of the men filing a lawsuit was a 33-year-old leukemia sufferer, who had his sperm stored after he was told that intensive chemotherapy treatment would likely make him sterile.
A 26-year-old man who has an illness threatening his fertility and planned on becoming a husband and father also preserved his sperm, said lawyers from Corboy & Demetrio in a press release.
A third man, aged 48, had his sperm frozen because he has a condition which could make him sterile.
Desperate for answers as to why and how their sperm was allegedly destroyed the men filed an emergency motion on Tuesday to protect records from the hospital and the Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation and requested to inspect the hospitals’ storage system.
On the weekend of April 21 and 22 a cryogenic storage tank used for long-term storing of sperm samples malfunctioned and a round-the-clock alarm system attached to the unit failed to alert technicians, a press release from the Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation stated.
Malfunction: In April a storage tank full of sperm samples at Northwestern Memorial Hospital stopped working forcing the hospital to tell 200 ctive fertility patients of the equipment failure and their options
When the failure was discovered on Monday 23 lab technicians transferred the samples to a working cryogenic freezer, according to the release.
A further 100 sperm samples, scheduled to be discarded, that were tested for damage showed that they were affected by the faulty system.
'Regrettably, it appears that there has been some adverse impact on the tested specimens,’ read the release.
However, officials said in the release that they believe in many cases, the samples will still be viable for in vitro fertilization procedures.
The foundation estimates about 80 per cent of the samples will be viable for that use. Patients can have their individual samples analyzed or may be able to provide additional samples, the release said.
Northwestern have contacted about 200 active fertility patients to inform them of the equipment failure and their options, the release said.
‘We deeply regret that this occurred and understand how upsetting this can be to our patients, so our primary focus has been on them and their needs,’ the hospital said in the release.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2175153/Three-men-demand-answers-hospital-destroyed-frozen-sperm.html#ixzz20zfnV3Ds