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Stem Cells of 56 Child Cancer Patients Lost in Freezer Malfunction at Children’s Hospital L.A.

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is seen in a Google Maps Street View image.

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is seen in a Google Maps Street View image.

A freezer malfunction at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles resulted in the loss of 56 children’s blood stem cells that were harvested at the beginning of each patient’s oncology therapy and stored in the event they could prove useful in the future.

“We apologize for any distress or confusion that this has caused our patients and their families,” the hospital wrote in a statement. “If you have not received a letter or phone call from our team, your child is not impacted.”

All but one patient had gone through initial therapy. That patient did require the recollection of stem cells, chief medical officer James Stein said.

A letter sent to families earlier in September informing them of the loss was accidentally addressed to the children — rather than the parents. The hospital has also apologized to parents for the messaging oversight.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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