Protection against confusion in IVF & Co.
Sample mix-ups in the IVF laboratory have serious consequences for patients and must be avoided at all costs. That is why culture dishes and tubes are labelled with the utmost care with the patient's name and date of birth, with a unique patient ID, with a colour code or with a combination of these elements.
In TFP clinics, the electronic system RI Witness is used in addition to the conventional sample labelling to exclude with the highest possible probability the mix-up of patient samples (gametes). RI Witness is used as a security system in prestigious IVF clinics worldwide and is considered the gold standard.
Before your treatment (insemination, IVF or ICSI), you will be assigned a chip card at the reception of our clinics, on which your data is encrypted. This chip card will be kept for you in your patient file.
The chip card is used to securely allocate your samples during the treatment cycle. For example, during an egg collection for IVF or ICSI, the chip card is inserted into a reader in front of the collection room and we ask you to confirm that your data displayed on a monitor are correct. With the help of the chip card, the workstation in the laboratory is reserved for you, so to speak, and the culture dishes in which the eggs are collected can only be assigned to you. This is how a complete chain of sample identification begins in the laboratory and ends with embryo transfer.
When the sperm is delivered, we ask your partner to confirm that the cup with the sperm sample has been correctly allocated. Again, a sample identification chain begins and ends in the IVF laboratory when the sperm and eggs are combined.
RI Witness is an electronic system that actively prevents the mix-up of patient samples in the IVF laboratory. TFP Kinderwunsch Berlin was the first clinic in Germany to use RI Witness in 2010, and we have now established RI Witness in all our TFP fertility clinics in Europe.
RI Witness is based on radio frequency identification (RFID). Each sample container with oocytes, sperm cells or embryos carries an RFID transponder on which the associated patient data is encoded during the course of work in the laboratory. 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 that do not belong to a patient pair, an optical and acoustic alarm is given before a sample mix-up can occur.