dutch-ivf-sperm-mix-upA Dutch Infertility Clinic reports that a lab mistake may have resulted in the sperm from the partner of one patient being used to fertilize the eggs from 26 other patients. The mistakes happened from April 2015 to November 2016. A lab technician is believed to have used an inappropriate pipette to inject the sperm during Intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) IVF cycles.

“Although the pipette was changed each time, the technician used the same rubber top until he found traces of sperm in it and raised the alarm. The rubber top would normally have a filter, but in this case it did not,” a hospital spokesman told the BBC.

Of the 26 couples involved, nine have had children and four women are pregnant. The other 13 embryos were all frozen. All the couples have been offered the option of a DNA test.

Creating a Family has resources on how to avoid IVF mistakes:

  • Top Ten Tips for Avoiding Medical Error in Fertility Treatment
  • Avoiding IVF Mix-Ups and Mistakes (1 hour audio interview with Dr Jacob F Mayer, embryologist at the Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Dr. Elizabeth Ginsburg, Former President of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, Associate Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology at Harvard, and director of the IVF program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital; and Jessica Berg, Professor of Law and Biomedical Ethics at Case Western Reserve University School of Law and Associate Director of the Law-Medicine Center.)


Photo Credit: James King-Holmes/Science Photo Library