News Updates

7/12/2018 - Ohio State Senator Joe Schiavoni Proposes Bill Regulating Fertility Clinics

In the wake of the March 2018 cryotank failure at University Hospitals’ fertility clinic at Ahuja Medical Center, Beachwood, Ohio, State Senator Joe Schiavoni (D-33rd District) is drafting legislation that would create guidelines and establish penalties for fertility clinics to prevent future incidents like the March 2018 freezer failure.

The University Hospitals cryotank failure resulted in irreversible damage to 4,000 frozen eggs and embryos and affected 950 patients.

According to recent news reports, the proposed bill could require oversight of fertility clinics by the state or an organization such as CAP and the establishment of emergency procedures. The proposed bill would also require:

  • Onsite, around-the-clock tank monitoring
  • Splitting up samples from one person across different tanks
  • Training all employees to handle liquid nitrogen
  • Clinic reporting if tissues or cells are moved, including emergency relocations
  • Patient notification within 24 hours if damage occurs
  • Clinics to notify their accreditation agency regarding any storage compromises

Violations would result in fines, and clinics with multiple issues could be forced to close.

The bill has not yet been introduced, but Senator Schiavoni is meeting with stakeholders with plans to include recommendations from the College of American Pathologists (CAP), American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), RESOLVE, University Hospitals and other interested parties. The CRB Board considers the CRB an "interested party."

While the legislation is at the state level and in the early stages of drafting, it could easily have an impact on a national level. CRB is following this issue closely and will keep you updated as developments occur.

Related articles:

Embryo Storage Bill Seeks Oversight of Fertility Centers and Penalties for those that Violate Safeguards, The Washington Post, July 5, 2018

Ohio Senator Joe Schiavoni Proposes Bill Regulating Fertility Clinics, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 5, 2018

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