26 Oct Safety in our assisted reproduction laboratories
When we meet a couple or a woman who wants to change her life and opt for motherhood (and all that this implies), we listen to the doubts or concerns they have, in order to reassure our patients and resolve all their questions. One of these concerns is the fact that there is an error in the manipulation of eggs, sperm or embryos. For this reason, in this article we would like to give you a space to explain how our laboratory works and how safety is the main protagonist.
Anxiety, nerves and worries are emotions that can hinder the ART process. Even the path itself generates this discomfort, so it is essential that the treatment, services and staff manage to make the road to fertility more bearable.
Avoid human error!
Safety is the most demanded term in an assisted reproduction clinic, and more specifically, in its laboratory. As humans, we can make a mistake, but it will be a mistake that will affect a family in a serious way, and that is why at Reproclinic we have decided to avoid all possible mistakes. How? Firstly, by correctly identifying the gametes and embryos of the patients undergoing treatment. And secondly, but just as important, with our double control system. Two biologists certify all the processes, in which one has the role of performing the required tasks and the other verifies that the gametes or embryos to be handled have been selected correctly and that there are no crosses of samples by mistake.
When the patient arrives in the operating room for the ovarian puncture or embryo transfer, the embryologist checks the patient’s medical history and asks her directly for her name. In the case of the puncture, the embryologist places an identifying label in the area where the oocytes will be manipulated. Once obtained, this label is placed on the outside of the incubator where they will be cultured.
As for the seminal sample, the patient obtains the sample in our clinic. Before obtaining the sample, the nurse checks the patient’s identity with an official document. Once the sample has been obtained, the patient places an identification label with his name and that of his partner on the container containing the sample and hands over a signed document stating that the sample is his. The nursing staff and later the embryologist verify that the information on the label is correct.
All materials containing patient samples during treatment, such as tubes, culture plates, specimens, are labelled with the patient’s name and medical record number. This data must be constantly reviewed by the second biologist. This review is reflected by means of a signature in the laboratory protocol, which describes the processes that are carried out daily in the laboratory during the treatment of patients, such as gamete insemination, embryo transfer or cryopreservation, etc…
As for the cryopreserved samples, they are labelled with a unique code for the patients and for each sample by means of liquid nitrogen resistant labels. In the thawing of the samples, the double control system is used to verify that the identification of the samples to be thawed corresponds to the patients undergoing treatment.
At Reproclinic we want to help all our patients to experience this process with the peace of mind and safety they deserve. For this reason, we work every day to have the technology required in these processes, to offer maximum safety in our work and to provide the confidence that every patient expects. Biological safety is the most important thing!