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Thursday, 31 March 2005 09:52
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
Prevent IVF errors with barcodes
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) are considering whether to introduce barcodes or electronic tags to mark eggs, sperm and embryos to prevent IVF blunders.

Scientists are developing a system that an alarm would sound if the wrong egg and sperm were placed too close to each other.

Safeguards in the IVF process are needed after a mistake at Leeds General Infirmary which led to the birth of mixed-race twins to a white couple in 2002, due to labels on sperm samples being misread.

A HFEA spokesman said the authority was always looking for new ways to ensure safety and consistency in laboratory practice, but added the safety to the embryos in any new technique was "paramount".

We don't expect major changes in the short term as these techniques are still in their infancy," he added.


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