Monday, June 15, 2009

IVF blunders - Time for a syscheck, Singapore?

Today's Straits Times, prompted by a recent IVF blunder in an UK fertility clinic, carried a report of the rather sloppy processes at such clinics. A recent Daily Mail report can accessed here.

I must say I haven't really thought much about this issue before, but was rather horrified at how frequent mistakes were. The ST report cited a Telegraph report alluding to as much as a staggering 40 mistakes per 10,000 cycles in 2006-07 (up from 15/10,000 in 2003-04). The Daily Mail refers to a report due soon showing 200 such 'serious mistakes' and 'near misses' this year. (The British Fertility Society however without citing figures, reassures that these errors are 'extremely rare'.

I am horrified.

An MOH report 2004/5 on IVF can be found here. In 2002 there were 1569 IVF treatments. Todate we must have done way beyond 10,000 treatments, but I can't find any data on IVF errors in Singapore. Are we that error free? Or have the errors been swept under the carpet somehow?

MOH should enlighten us on how IVF errors are being monitored, or is it that no one wants to know or tell?

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