February 11, 2009

Octuplet Births Under Investigation

A fertility doctor is being investigated by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in response to the controversial birth of octuplets to his patient, 33-year-old Nadya Suleman.

Last week, the California Medical Board announced it would begin an investigation into the practice of Dr Michael M. Kamrava, who runs the West Coast IVF Clinic in Beverly Hills, California. The CMB said it was looking to see whether it can "substantiate a violation of the standard of care" in Suleman's treatment.

"We are pleased that the California Medical Board has announced they will be investigating this matter, and we are prepared to assist them in any way we can," said R. Dale McClure, president of the ASMR.

McClure said the organization had contacted Suleman and Dr. Kamrava "in order to learn more about the circumstances leading to her octuplet pregnancy. Only when we obtain and evaluate such information will we be able to determine an appropriate course of action."

Suleman told NBC's "Today" show that she was implanted with six embryos in each of her six pregnancies, resulting in four single births, a set of twins and octuplets, according to the AP.

"Our guidelines provide the flexibility to give each patient treatment individualized to her needs, and her best chance to become pregnant without risking high-order multiple pregnancy," said McClure. "However, it seems that the guidelines may not have been followed in Ms. Suleman's case."

Neither the ASRM or CMB named Dr. Kamrava in their respective investigation announcements.

Kamrava's clinic is a member of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, a sister organization of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, according to AP.

Suleman, a resident of Whittier, California, said she spent nearly $100,000 on procedures at Dr. Kamrava's clinic, which performed 52 in-vitro procedures during 2006, according to the most recent national report compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"My friends said, 'Were you saving up for a house, a car?' I was like, 'No, babies,' Suleman said.

"If I were just sitting down watching TV and not being as determined as I am to succeed and provide a better future for my children, I believe that would be considered to a certain degree selfish," she said.

Although the state medical board cannot close the clinic if it is found at fault, it can censure the doctor, putting the violation on his record.

Kamrava's clinic held the lowest success rate in the country in 2006. Factors for success include patient's health and types of procedures done.

According to court records, Kamrava has been named in at least five medical malpractice lawsuits since 1991, said the AP.


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