Eggs and Embryos Destroyed in Error

Over 130 women have sadly lost the chance of becoming mothers due to Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust in London, a top fertility clinic, destroying eggs and embryos in error.

The treatment available for some types of cancer, can cause infertility and so women are often given the option to freeze their eggs before beginning treatment.

The women affected had their eggs or embryos frozen between September and October 2022.  The hospital were made aware of the error in March 2023 but they did not inform the patients until February 2024, almost one year later.  In a letter the women were informed that their eggs and embryos ‘may not survive the thaw process’ as the liquid used to freeze them was defective. 

A spokesman for Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust said they “did not know about the potential issue at the time eggs or embryos were frozen” adding “We have contacted all of those affected and apologised for the delay in doing so and any distress this may have caused”.

As a woman ages, the success of IVF reduces “from 32 per cent for women under 35, to just 4 per cent for women over 44, declining by about 6 or 7 per cent for every couple of years of age”.

Sarah Norcross, director of the Progress Educational Trust charity said “If women affected by this incident have undergone medical treatment which has compromised their fertility, then their opportunity to have a biologically related child may have been lost”.

In order to assure patients at other clinics, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority have advised patients should not be concerned but that if they are worried, they should contact their clinic.

Sophie Keatley, a Chartered Legal Executive at Medical Accident Group, said: “  It would be both physically and mentally taxing to undergo fertility treatment, particularly at a time when you may already be unwell. To later hear that you may have lost your opportunity to become parents as a result of someone else’s error must be devastating”

Have you had fertility treatment that was not conducted correctly?

If so, Medical Accident Group can help. We have a team of dedicated clinical negligence solicitors with experience in handling cases involving fertility treatment. If you believe you have a case, call the team now on 0800 050 1668 or fill in the form below.

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Ally Taft, Head of Clinical Negligence

Starting out as a physiotherapist, Ally embarked on her legal training knowing that she wanted to specialise in clinical negligence from the outset. Now a partner for Medical Accident Group, her experience and medical understanding have stood her and her clients in good stead, combined, as they are, with her determination to seek justice for clients whose lives have been devastated by clinical negligence.

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