IVF baby born with cystic fibrosis after screening mistake

18 December 2017 10:07

There were 76,000 IVF treatments in the UK during 2016/17

There were 76,000 IVF treatments in the UK during 2016/17

A baby born through IVF has been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis after doctors mistakenly told parents they were not carriers of the faulty gene.

In a "state of the sector" report by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), it states the treating clinician did not properly read the screening results from a pathology lab.

HFEA has categorised the mistake as a "grade A incident", which is the most severe.

The figures

In 2016/17 there were more than 76,000 cycles of IVF carried out in Britain.

Although the overall report was positive, highlighting "fantastic" progress in reducing the number of dangerous multiple births, the health body says there are still "some areas for concern".

The number of negative incidents has risen to 540, from 497 in 2015.

Of these incidents, 325 are grade C and 176 are grade B.

Striving for improvement

Discussing the report, HFEA chairwoman Sally Cheshire says the data "outlines the importance of us working together to ensure patients, donors and the donor-conceived get the highest possible quality care".

Adverse incidents make up less than 1% of all treatments, and the chairwoman says it is important to place the figures in context. However, she says whatever the category of the incident, one incident is one too many.

She added: "Non-compliances risk undermining the hard-won reputation for quality and rigour that the UK's fertility sector has established over the last 25 years.

"In line with our commitment to open, frank and constructive regulation, we will continue to work with all our licensed clinics so that they strive to continually improve and maximise the chances of success for patients seeking their much longed-for families."

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