Cryotank Quality Control at Seattle Sperm Bank

Recent reports of fertility clinics experiencing cryotank failures that resulted in potential damage to thousands of stored oocytes and embryos have left patients asking what went wrong — and how these failures can be prevented in the future.

While the causes of the tank failures are unknown, and the extent of the damage still undetermined, Seattle Sperm Bank wants our clients and potential clients to know our processes and equipment are set up to prevent such scenarios. And these processes were in place long before these incidents occurred.

How Seattle Sperm Bank Prevents Cryotank Failures

To avoid similar catastrophes, Seattle Sperm Bank uses state of the art liquid nitrogen freezers to store semen specimens. Each freezer is connected to an external liquid nitrogen source and automatically fills to maintain the required liquid nitrogen level. This level is set well above the critical point at which specimen integrity would come into question.

Going further, alarms are set to alert staff when liquid nitrogen levels and/or temperatures fall below the set point, at which point the external liquid nitrogen source will be replaced. The freezers are equipped with data-logging systems that allow us to download and review temperature and alarm records. The alarm and data logging systems are connected to surge protected outlets that also have battery backups. Plus, our freezers are set to maintain an adequate liquid nitrogen and temperature level for more than a week even without human interaction.

In the event of a power outage, the tanks will continue to automatically fill and maintain adequate temperatures without any interruption. In the unlikely event of a power outage lasting longer than two weeks, we would manually maintain the integrity of every tank.

We also have backup plans for any major natural disaster, such as severe flooding or earthquakes, and our storage locations are very unlikely to see any major damage due to such events.

We understand the amount of time and energy that goes into selecting a donor, and have taken steps to ensure that your chosen donor’s vials are properly stored. Seattle Sperm Bank takes quality control and quality assurance very seriously, and will always maintain the viability of specimens stored at our facility.

Fertility issues can be extremely challenging and emotional, and the recent tank failures at other clinics have been devastating to their patients. At Seattle Sperm Bank, we want to provide our patients and clinic partners with the highest level of confidence by using industry-leading standards and procedures.

As always, please contact our clinic at (206) 588-1484 or with any questions or concerns.


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