Egg Shipping and Covid-19

Egg recipients who have pre-plan fertility treatment they may face problem during COVID-19 due to shipment of egg is not as smooth as prior to the coronavirus pandemic. Egg banks need to be very much specific about the case by case shipping. A strong communication requires between the clinic and egg bank to decide the timing for egg delivery and egg recipients.

covid-19 and egg shipping

The Coronavirus spread continuously, so additional screening tests are included in the egg donation process for safety reasons. In certain western countries have temporarily suspended donor egg procurement till their governing boards, ASRM, CDC, and the FDA do not release auxiliary guidelines for a pandemic of Coronavirus.

Although, it is declared by different country governments to suspend elective treatments including assisted reproductive technology (ART). But ART clinics must arrange the treatment cycle to continue and finish the treatment procedure for patients who began ovarian stimulation prior to start the pandemic.

However, many patients have experienced cycle disruption due to the Coronavirus pandemic. They have communicated with the clinical communicator to restart their treatment procedure.   And now, many fertility clinics are gradually re-starting cryopreservation of egg, frozen donor egg for embryo creation. However, the opened fertility clinics taking care of onsite social distancing and other safety measures to provide protection to the patients and staff.

  • Implementation of regulation to the allowance of the number of individuals per day.
  • Only one guest allows per patient who has a schedule for egg retrieval surgery.
  • Guests of the admitted patients is informed to pick up the patient after completion of the discharge procedure.
  • The clinical team coordinator will communicate with guests for the timing to safely pick up.
  • All the visitors, staffs, and patients need to follow safety protocols such as wearing a mask and performing screening tests prior to entering the clinic premises.

Egg banks had sufficient donor inventory, which procured before the Coronavirus Pandemic started. Therefore, intended parents have the scope to choose. The courier services, laboratory centers, and intended parent clinics not readily accept the shipment.

Due to these, the limited facility of egg shipping on certain regions can cause difficulty in pre-planned fertility treatment.

But in this current pandemic situation, fertility clinics, laboratories are experiencing extra pressure on the logistics and transportation services. Lab leaders need to update and review the best practice for egg shipment and take care of necessary requirements for ensuring the efficient management of retrieved eggs.

Sophisticated system monitoring courier service requires continuous tracking of the shipment. The clinic and egg bank may require additional documentation to prevent errors. There is no evidence found which has proven that coronavirus could transmit to or carry via the egg.

There are no specific safety measures require to follow to use cryopreserved eggs, as no abrupt risk associated with frozen egg. However, clinic, lab as well as courier service department should follow the policies and procedures to maintain the liquid nitrogen tanks in which frozen eggs are stored. The proper adherence to safety measures is essential to keep intact the quality of frozen egg during shipment.

References

  • https://www.darkdaily.com/in-the-field-clinical-laboratory-specimen-transportation-is-being-complicated-by-the-covid-19-pandemic/
  • https://crh.ucsf.edu/faqs-patients-related-covid-19

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