Sample confusion in the IVF laboratory has serious consequences for patients and must be avoided at all costs. Therefore, the labelling of the culture dishes and tubes is done with the utmost care with the patient name and birthday, a unique patient ID, a colour code or a combination of these elements.
TFP clinics use the RI-Witness electronic system in addition to traditional sample identification to minimize the possibility of confusion between patient samples (gametes). RI-Witness is used worldwide as a security system in prestigious IVF clinics and is considered the gold standard.
You will be assigned a chip card at the reception of our clinics prior to your treatment (Insemination, IVF or ICSI) on which your data is encrypted. This chip card will be kept in your patient file for you.
The chip card is used during the treatment cycle for a safe assignment of your samples. The chip card is inserted in a reader in front of the sampling room during an egg collection for IVF or ICSI and we ask you to confirm that your data displayed on a monitor are correct. With the help of the chip card the workplace in the laboratory is reserved for you and the culture dishes in which the eggs are collected can only be assigned to you. This is the beginning of a complete sample identification chain in the laboratory that ends in embryo transfer.
When giving seeds, we ask your partner to let us know that the cup has been correctly assigned to the semen sample. Again, a sample assignment chain begins that ends in the IVF laboratory when sperm and egg cells are brought together.
RI-Witness is an electronic system that actively prevents the confusion of patient samples in the IVF laboratory. Our TFP fertility clinic in Berlin has been using RI-Witness as the first clinic in Germany since 2010. We have now established RI-WITNESS in all of our TFP fertility clinics in Europe.
RI-Witness is based on Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). Each egg, sperm or embryo sample vessel carries an RFID transponder, which encodes the patient's data during the lab course. All work surfaces in the laboratory are equipped with integrated antennas, with which the samples are continuously read. If there are samples on the work surface which do not belong to a patient pair, a visual and audible alarm message is issued before sample mixing can occur.