It’s every patient’s worst nightmare – the idea of some kind of mix-up in the laboratory with worrying scenarios of confusion whether eggs, embryos or sperm are being given to the right person. As the latest report from the HFEA on what are known as “adverse incidents” shows, such problems are incredibly rare with just three serious problems reported in the UK over a three-year period. There were, however, many more lower grade problems which although they may not have the potential to lead to disasters can still be very upsetting for the patients concerned.
What is perhaps really important about this report is the fact that clinics are telling the HFEA when things go wrong, as it is only by understanding how mistakes occur that they can be prevented in the future. The HFEA’s director of strategy and corporate affairs, Juliet Tizzard, has written an interesting article about this for BioNews.