Highlighting Risks or Errors in the Lab
International IVF Initiative,
13 November 2023

This talk, given by Dr. Denny Sakkas, the Scientific Director at Boston IVF in Massachusetts, USA, at an Alpha symposium organized by I3, focuses on highlighting risks and errors in laboratory settings, particularly in the context of IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) labs. Dr. Sakkas emphasizes the importance of recognizing and addressing errors in laboratory practices to improve safety and efficacy. He discusses various types of errors, their frequency, and the impact they can have on IVF cycles and patient outcomes.

Dr. Sakkas presents data from a study conducted between 2003 and 2015, analyzing non-conformances in an IVF lab. This study categorizes errors into different grades based on their severity and impact on IVF cycles. He explains how even minimal errors can affect the success rates of IVF treatments and stresses the need for effective quality systems and procedures to minimize and manage errors.

The talk further delves into the comparison of error rates in IVF labs with other areas of medicine, indicating that IVF practices are relatively safe. Dr. Sakkas highlights the necessity of proper staff training, adequate staffing levels, and robust systems for error tracking and management. He points out that acknowledging and learning from mistakes, rather than concealing them, is crucial in reducing error rates and improving lab practices.

In conclusion, Dr. Sakkas underscores the importance of treating non-conformances as a key performance indicator (KPI) in lab management. He encourages laboratories to adopt a proactive approach in identifying and addressing errors, thereby enhancing the overall safety and effectiveness of IVF treatments.

The full session can be see here.


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