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Wednesday 20th September 2017

Barcodes to stop IVF mix-ups

3rd September 2008

A bar code system has been developed at Liverpool Women's Hospital to prevent mix-ups in IVF treatment.

The system gives a unique barcode specific to each patient's treatment, which is then used to label all equipment used for them. The initiative develops a coding that avoids repetitive checks by staff but should also prevent mix-ups with eggs and sperm at clinics. In 2002 in Leeds a white woman gave birth to black twins after a mistake at a fertility centre.


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