Lab safety is a crucial part of being a reputable IVF center. At Sincera Reproductive Medicine, we have several procedures in place to ensure the safety of both eggs and embryos. We sat down with Sincera’s IVF lab director, Kevin Lambrese, to review what measures are in place, and to answer all of your questions about lab safety.
Q: Where are the eggs and embryos stored? A: All eggs and embryos are stored onsite at our Fort Washington surgical center allowing us to closely monitor them. Eggs and embryos are stored in liquid nitrogen cryopreservation tanks. These tanks are monitored to maintain the correct temperature, both inside and outside.
Q: How do you monitor the nitrogen tanks? A: We follow strict quality measures approved by the CAP (College of American Pathologists), an organization that helps monitor the safety of labs across the US. There are specialized alarm systems that alert the embryologists if the nitrogen tanks enter outside of the appropriate temperature range. All tanks are also checked daily to ensure they are working properly, and there is no detection of failure. The level of liquid nitrogen is measured three times per week. The tanks are also re-filled with liquid nitrogen once per week.
Q: How do you verify the identity of an embryo prior to transfer? A: All documents in the patient's chart are verified and matched with the cryopreservation device label that the embryos/eggs are stored on. This is checked by not just one, but two embryologists prior to thawing to ensure accuracy. The patient’s chart/label that was on the device and the transfer dish are verified with the physician at the time of transfer, as well as time out of the transfer room. We are introducing a brand new, innovative, electronic automated witnessing system that will alarm and document if and when samples from two different patients are in the same workspace together. This will help further prevent any chance of improper identification. We’re proud to be on the forefront of the latest technologies that we hope to become the standard of care in the future for all fertility practices.