University Hospitals responded to the temporary restraining order issued by the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas last week that has since been vacated.
University Hospitals released the following statement:
We are dismayed and disappointed that a plaintiff’s attorney has so inaccurately characterized our genuine and heartfelt offers of support to our patients.
The temporary restraining order entered last week was based on those inaccurate characterizations and without giving UH the opportunity to put the correct facts before the court. A new order is now in place and the court has ordered plaintiff’s motion to be removed from the court docket. This new order entered by Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge Dick Ambrose is attached.
That means U.H. will continue to communicate with our patients.
We are offering our patients who had stored eggs or embryos with us an in vitro package tailored to their individual clinical needs. We also will refund storage fees and will waive storage fees in the future for seven years.
We have not and will not request or require our patients to sign a release to obtain these services.
The attorney’s claim that UH has refused to release medical records is also untrue.
Our patients are our first priority, and we will continue to provide them with clinical support and assistance. To date, the five nurses staffing our patient information line have responded to more than 900 patient calls, and our physicians have personally talked with or seen approximately 400 patients about their medical needs.
Our information line, at 216-286-9740, continues to be available weekdays 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Saturdays 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
The TRO came after more than 2,000 frozen eggs and embryos at University Hospital's fertility clinic may no longer be viable. The temperature in a storage bank fluctuated earlier this month, potentially damaging the eggs and embryos.
The TRO restricted University Hospitals and its doctors from communicating with patients to negotiate a settlement.
While the extent of the loss is not clear, the hospital informed about 700 patients that their frozen eggs and embryos may have been damaged. University Hospitals said it does not know how or why the temperature fluctuated. The hospital said it launched an investigation to determine what happened.
Several lawsuits and class action lawsuits have already been filed against the hospital.