AMSTERDAM — Twenty-six couples in the Netherlands are waiting to find out if the s/p/e/rm* that was used to fertilize their eggs at a reproductive technology clinic might have come from the wrong men.
...The oldest child who might have been conceived as a result of the possible mix-up is about a year old. All of the couples possibly affected have been informed and have been offered DNA tests, the clinic said.
Primarily used in cases of male infertility, ICSI involves injecting a single s/p/e/rm into a mother’s egg. The technician, guided by a microscope, injects the s/p/e/rm using a glass pipette. The tip of the pipette is then discarded.
The technician, upon completing the procedure, discovered that there was still genetic material on the tip of the pipette, Mr. Geurts said. She notified the supervising technician, and upon further investigation, they discovered that s/p/e/rm from a previous procedure had somehow gotten into the pipette — evidently because the technician had mistakenly used the wrong kind of rubber apparatus on the end of the pipette.
Mr. Geurts declined to say whether the technician had been punished, calling it a confidential personnel matter.Given previous problems with fertility clinic errors, I'm rather surprised that the problematic bulbs were anywhere near the laboratory.
*bowdlerizing not because I'm a prude (if the shoe fits! - ed.), but for corporate firewalls, etc.