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London Women's Clinic - donor sperm mix up

(2 Posts)
Leibs Mon 03-Feb-14 20:53:54

I think it's important to raise awareness of this story:

A woman who was given abnormal donor sperm which resulted in her daughter being born with a genetic defect that will affect her ability to have children, has today (27 January) called on the prestigious private clinic responsible to show what action has been taken to prevent the same error being made again.

The mum, known as ARL as she cannot be identified for legal reasons, attended the London Women’s Clinic based on Harley Street in January 2009 to undergo IVF through an anonymous sperm donor, but staff used a donor which had been labelled as ‘normal’ despite it previously being screened and identified as abnormal.

ARL gave birth to a baby girl in October that year, but mid-way through the pregnancy was devastated to learn of the error that meant her daughter would have a balanced reciprocal chromosomal translocation from the donor sperm that leaves her at a greater risk of facing miscarriage or giving birth to a profoundly disabled child.

Appalled at what had happened, ARL instructed medical law experts at Irwin Mitchell to investigate and is speaking out for the first time after a High Court judge in London today approved an undisclosed settlement for her four-year-old daughter from the London Women’s Clinic to compensate for the problems she is likely to face in later life.

It follows an admission from the clinic that it failed in its duty of care to ARL and reached an out of Court settlement with ARL.

Matthew Waite, a medical law expert at Irwin Mitchell’s London office, said: “This is a shocking case that begs the questions, how on earth was it possible for this mix-up to happen and could it have happened more than once?

“My client understandably put her trust in the clinic and expected the care she was paying for to be of the highest standard.

“Whilst we welcome the settlement from the clinic, we would like to know what systems failed to allow the mix-up to happen – why was the abnormal donor sperm not destroyed, could it have happened more than once and what action has been taken to ensure the same mistake can never be made again?”

ARL added: “Choosing to undergo IVF with an anonymous sperm donor was not a decision I made lightly but I believed the London Women’s Clinic was one of the leading fertility centres in the country and I spent £30,000 with the clinic expecting a high-level service.

“I was delighted to learn it was successful but a scan half way through my pregnancy highlighted my baby had a genetic defect and I was informed it was due to a mix-up with the sperm donor.

“I was absolutely horrified. I couldn’t understand how it was possible for this to happen as I assumed there must be safeguards and systems in place to prevent any kind of mix-up.

“Now I’m left worrying about what the future holds for my daughter and the problems she may face in later life. Every parent wishes the best for their child but knowing that she may face such heartache and agonising decisions is incredibly difficult to live with and the source of much anguish.

“I have still not been given any information about why it happened which I find makes it difficult for me to move forward. I’m concerned that others may have been affected by the same mistake – if it was possible for the mix-up to happen with me, it could quite easily have happened to someone else.

“Nothing can turn back the clock for me and my daughter but I would like to know what lessons have been learnt by the clinic to stop it happening again. Until then, I cannot begin to accept what has happened.”

umranumran Tue 30-Jun-15 21:48:32

London women's clinic is the worst clinic that we have been to in London for my IVF treatment.
After my unsuccessful IVF treatment at this clinic, our fertility doctor who is just working with this clinic and has got his own clinic also works for other public hospital suggested us that we should go for the egg donation treatment and arranged a meeting with the head nurse of this clinic to discuss this treatment further.
When I and my husband met with this head nurse she told us that finding a suitable egg donor for me is not going to be a problem for them as they have plenty of egg donors on their online catalogue which shows many donors are available for egg donation and suggested us to select one and let her know so that she can reserve that donor for my treatment. We requested her to check donor number 87 whether she is available and the nurse turned on her computer, checked it and said yes donor number 87 is available also we could learn her age and AMH level and how the donor looks like. We told the nurse that we will have a look at the catalogue again and let her know about our selection of the donor as soon as possible.
The very next day we selected donor number 4 and sent her and our doctor the same email to reserve and ask the nurse to give us a bit more information such as the donor's age and her AMH level and the head nurse sent an email back to us saying ok sure which meant confirming to reserve along with donor's age and AMH level which can not be revealed by the law in the UK.
Also in the meeting the head nurse told us that it is possible to have all her eggs exclusively for my treatment if we pay extra which is not in their price list and told us that usually they can get 10 to 15 healthy mature eggs from a young donor.
We received another email on the same day from the nurse saying donor 4 and 87 are not available because we should have reserved it going on their online catalogue and we do not need to make any payments for this. We were so upset and unhappy with this and we could not find anybody at their clinic to talk as their doctors, receptionists were extremely rude and unhelpful and did not care anything rather then being extremely rude..
We spoke to our fertility doctor about this and he said the nurse is the head of the clinic and he can not do anything about this although he has been using this clinic for so long and has known the director of the clinic for so long… We just could not believe what we heard from the people we should be trusting for this type of treatment…
Please please do not trust what they say and do in their clinic as we feel that they are just there to make money by promising things that they can not keep at all.
We still keep the nurse's emails being sent to us if anybody would like to see them please drop us an email so that we can show you all that they are not very trustworthy people.
Many thanks.

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