Hospital may have mixed up sperm

10th May 2007, Comments 0 comments

10 May 2007, ALKMAAR – The Medical Centre in Alkmaar may have accidentally given two couples the wrong sperm when they underwent intra-uterine insemination. The possible mix up came to light on 3 May.

10 May 2007

ALKMAAR – The Medical Centre in Alkmaar may have accidentally given two couples the wrong sperm when they underwent intra-uterine insemination. The possible mix up came to light on 3 May.

The sperm used in the procedure is kept in test tubes marked with name, birth date and colour-coding, the hospital says. Each patient has a unique colour code and rack. The procedure is always performed on two women at the same time in each procedure area. After the procedure a laboratory assistant noticed that one of the two racks was in a different position than usual.

The chance of an actual mix up is extremely slight, says gynaecologist Yvonne van Kasteren of the MCA.

 "The laboratory worker in question saw that things looked a little different than usual. He is almost entirely certain that the colour codes did not get mixed up. But since there was a slight doubt we have treated it as a possible mix up. The results would be terrible if there was indeed a mix up."

The hospital informed the couples of the situation and unspecified "precautionary measures" were taken immediately.

Procedural measures were also taken to prevent mix ups in future. The hospital is only conducting one such procedure at a time in each procedure room for the time being, Van Kasteren said.

The incident has been reported to the healthcare inspectorate and the MCA has set up a hotline for couples who are concerned about treatment they have undergone at the hospital.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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