1 Mistake For Every 100 Cycles Of IVF Classed ‘Too High’


In every form of medicine, it is inevitable that mistakes will occur. However, for IVF the amount of grade C errors being made has been classed as problematic and still “too high.”

An official report by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority warns that hundreds of blunders are being made during the process of IVF. This is the first breakdown there has been regarding mistakes during treatment in UK fertility clinics, and findings have shown that over three years, 3 grade A mistakes have been made, 714 grade B and 815 grade C.

One of the most serious grade A incidents reported was that of a couple who received the wrong sperm. It was meant to have come from a brother so that the child would have the same genes, however instead the child had a different genetic father to their sibling.

Another was when 11 embryos became contaminated with cellular debris that may have contained sperm, and the last when a member of staff removed frozen sperm from storage prematurely. Although grade A incidents are infrequent, with 815 grade C in three years, which include errors like breaches in confidentiality, and one or more egg being rendered unusable during the IVF process, the HFEA has stated this is “too high.”

Broken down, there have been 1,679 incidents in UK fertility clinics in a three year period ending in 2012, and on average 600 for every 60,000 cycles of fertility treatment. However, the HFEA has expressed commitment to ensuring clinics provide the safest and highest quality service, and to make further improvements to correct current errors being made.

HFEA chairwoman Sally Cheshire, said that although there are many small errors, primarily all clinics are witnessing success in decreasing the amount of serious incidents. She also stated that it is not about naming and shaming, but about learning from mistakes.

Regardless, many lawsuits are filed against IVF clinics for making mistakes, as the process is a long and tiresome one without having to endure the turbulence of being told something went wrong  due to medical negligence. If you have fallen victim to medical negligence, contact us now for advice.

Michael Lewin


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