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Best Practices in Cryostorage
Episode 2125th October 2022 • International IVF Initiative Podcast • The International IVF Initiative
00:00:00 00:41:50

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Welcome to another Beyond the Webinar episode, following the I3 session discussing Best Practices in Cryogovernance. The panel discussed how they are dealing with issues concerning the problems faced by clinics around the world with the increasing rising inventory of frozen specimens after IVF. The session was moderated by Senior Embryologist Dr. Mina Alikani, President of Alpha Scientists in Reproductive Medicine and British patient advocate and podcast host of The Fertility Podcast Natalie Silverman who was joined by an experienced panel consisting of a senior embryologist from Europe, Christianna Makri, lab managers from two large UK clinics Charissa Watchorn and Anastasia Mania and the vice president of clinical strategy of the TMRW group, embryologist Cynthia Hudson. 

The speakers were Dr. Michael Collins, Glenn Proctor, Dr. Steven Katz and Robert Perkinson.  We'd like to give a huge thank you to our session sponsor TMRW Life Sciences and you can watch the full session here 

What was discussed: 

  • Different regulations around the world  - what they mean 
  • Common worry globally worry about cryostorage amongst embryologists
  • How bio-repositories in the UK are on standby for smaller clinics or partner clinics locally which have reciprocal agreements 
  • What is going into cryostorage, it’s not just embryos it’s also eggs, so a 20yr old might not want them for a decade. 
  • How patients are encouraged to discard or donate material because they don’t want to pay, but if there are no storage fees they might just forget about them
  • How the industry needs to think about better communication, so the clinic is clear to patients about the process - roles and responsibilities. Guidelines with the paperwork about - being able to contact patients etc to help with the issue of orphaned embryos. 
  • Better engagement is needed with the patient to give them the perceived value of what they have in storage 
  • What protections are in place in the US and the issues that the industry faces
  • Language used such as 'discarding' embryos creates issues for patients as it can be triggering and how patients can bury their heads in the sand when not knowing what to do with their frozen gametes. 
  • Could there be a monthly fee, rather than the yearly storage fee?
  • Coverage that clinics have for the storage and the attention that is paid to the tanks
  • What can go wrong with Dewers - how problems are managed, how they are monitored.
  • Warranty on Dewers
  • Explanation of how TMRW storage process works  - it’s a specimen management software tool

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