Octuplet Mother and Fertility Doctor a Match Made in Hell

February 10, 2009

(ChattahBox) — As we now learn that Nadya Suleman lied about getting government assistance (more on that in a bit), one of her other admissions in her first live interview has given us some insight about the fertility treatment center she was working with. In the interview on NBC, the 33-year-old single mother identified the clinic as West Coast IVF Clinic, whose fertility treatment led to the birth of Nadya Suleman’s octuplets — and her six previous children, which is run by Michael Kamrava. The Beverly Hills doctor  — has one of the worst success rates of any fertility clinic in the country, according to federal records reviewed by the Los Angeles Times.

A match made in hell

on his Web site, Kamrava touts his “breakthrough technology that has revolutionized IVF. But according to federal records reviewed by the Times, of the 61 procedures Kamrava conducted in 2006 — the most recent data available — only five resulted in pregnancies and only two of those resulted in births. One of those births was Suleman’s twins. These numbers are absurdly low. His history of poor results comes despite Kamrava placing more embryos per procedure than all but 10 of the nation’s 426 fertility clinics for patients under 35. Placing high numbers of embryos is a common way that poorly performing clinics try to boost their pregnancy rates. But that increases the risk of multiple births, which pose a danger to the woman and her babies. But in Suleman, Kamrava found a patient who got pregnant and gave birth every time. For seven years, Suleman attempted to get pregnant through artificial insemination and fertility drugs. When she finally tried in vitro fertilization at Kamrava’s clinic, it worked the first time — and each time after that.

Was the doctor padding his stats

Kamrava’s clinic has a much lower rate of pregnancies and births than the vast majority of fertility clinics. Suleman’s five previous pregnancies — which resulted in four single births and a set of twins — represents a sizable portion of his success over the past several years.  Did Kamrava ignore the fact that Suleman was a single mother with six kids because he was anxious to improve his success rate knowing his client was almost a sure thing? He transferred six embryos to Suleman last year, which is an unheard of number of implants at one time. Many now speculate that because Kamrava’s success rates was so low and Suleman’s embryos had been frozen and thawed, which typically leads to pregnancy less often than fresh ones, the doctor gambled that likely only one pregnancy would occur.

Taxpayers footing the bill

Inspite of Suleman’s recent denial as it turns out taxpayers are already footing part of the bill for the situation Kamrava helped create. Suleman receives $490 a month in food stamps, and three of her first six children are disabled and receiving federal benefits. Moreover, Kaiser Permanente Hospital in suburban Bellflower has asked California’s health plan for the poor to cover the cost for the eight premature infants in its care, according to multiple sources familiar with the case.

Suleman’s publicist, Michael Furtney, confirmed the information about the food stamps and federal supplemental security income after two sources informed the Times of the benefits. Three sources told the Times that Kaiser has requested Medi-Cal reimbursement for care of the octuplets, which is estimated to run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Furtney declined to confirm the Medi-Cal coverage and referred the question to Kaiser, which also declined comment.


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