Long-time Alcor member, Katia (Katie) Kars Friedman, A-1221, was pronounced in Phoenix, Arizona on March 15th, 2016 and cryopreserved the same day. Katie, a neurocryopreservation member, is Alcor’s 145th patient.
Katie had been on our Watch List since 2009 but recently suffered significant trauma and a closed head injury from a fall, just two days after her 98th birthday. She was relocated to the Scottsdale area by air ambulance as she was not expected to survive. An initial standby was launched but was discontinued as she improved from critical to recovery mode. Over the next three months, she continued to make progress while under the care of numerous hospitals and care facilities, but multiple infections eventually became too much to overcome.
Once in the area, Katie was moved to an in-patient hospice facility where her end-of-life care was carefully monitored by Alcor. The hospice informed us that her expected death would automatically become a Medical Examiner’s case and be subject to an autopsy, due to her closed head injury. After discussions with the ME’s office yielded no possibility of a waiver, we reached out to the hospice physician to identify an alternate solution. All of Katie’s medical records from the last 3 months were gathered and supplied to the physician and a case was built to suggest that her mental capacities had returned to baseline, through her recovery, thus bypassing the head-injury rule. After careful review, the physician agreed with our assessment and stated that he would remove the requirement for autopsy.
A standby was reinitiated at the hospice. With team members in the patient’s room, cardiac arrest was witnessed and her pronouncement occurred two minutes later. Immediate stabilization and cooling commenced prior to the approximately 20 minute drive to Alcor, where the surgical team was ready and waiting. The patient’s nasal pharyngeal temperature was 15.6º C upon arrival and there was no delay in beginning neuro separation, cannulation, and cryoprotective perfusion. Initial indications suggest she received a high-quality perfusion, lasting 3.75 hours. The full case report will include results of a CT scan.