Cold birth

 
Published: Sunday 15 March 1998

An embryo kept frozen for seven years has developed into a healthy baby body. According to medical experts, the four-kilogramme infant was the world's oldest new-born. The child was delivered by caesarean section at Encino-Tarzana Regional Medical Centre, California. The embryo was frozen in 1989 after the couple underwent treatments for infertility. The parents, who had a boy with the aid of the treatments, forgot about the frozen embryo until last year when they received a letter asking what they wanted to do with it. They decided to have another child and doctors implanted the embryo.

Michael Vermesh, the infertility specialist who performed the in-vitro fertilisation, said the parents understood the risks involved in implanting an embryo frozen for so many years. "There are a very intelligent couple. They understand the risks. They understand the situation very well," said Vermesh, head of the Centre for human reproduction in Tarzana.

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