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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 August 2006, 10:50 GMT 11:50 UK
Patient dies after IVF treatment
Leicester Royal Infirmary
Officials said the case had now been reported to the coroner
An investigation is under way into the death of a woman who had undergone fertility treatment at a hospital.

Officials at the Leicester Royal Infirmary confirmed a patient had lost her life on Monday after undergoing IVF treatment at the hospital.

It is understood she developed complications but a cause of death has not yet been identified.

A spokesperson from the hospital said the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority had been informed.

The case has also been reported to the coroner and no further details about the woman have been released.

A spokesperson from the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, said: "Tragically a patient undergoing IVF treatment has subsequently died.

"The cause of death is yet to be determined and a full investigation is underway."

Dr Mark Hamilton, chairman of the British Fertility Society, said: "The procedures used in clinics are very safe and serious complications for patients are extremely rare."

He said that published statistics on Assisted Reproduction in Europe, presented earlier this year at the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology, showed that in 2002, there were two maternal deaths out of 224,000 procedures.

Worldwide more than three million babies have been born as a result of IVF.

"In the UK over 30,000 women receive IVF treatment each year and more than 10,000 children are born as a result.

"Anyone with anxieties about their own treatment should contact staff at the clinic providing their care," he said.

Clare Brown, chief executive of Infertility Network UK, said: "It is important that couples undergoing IVF, now or in the future, should be reassured by the fact that assisted conception treatment in the UK is heavily regulated and procedures are monitored closely, and that they understand that this is an extremely rare case.

"If patients do have concerns they should speak to their clinics and contact Infertility Network UK for advice and support."

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