In what has become the busiest 12 months of any previous year in Alcor’s history, we have cryopreserved three additional members during this past month of June.
A-2371, who maintained confidentiality with respect to his membership, resided in Cleveland, Ohio. Alcor initiated an eight-day standby when the member fell critically ill during the month of May. The standby ended when the member’s condition improved and he was inevitably discharged from the hospital. Roughly a month later however, the individual returned to the hospital and was placed on life support. When all efforts to correct his medical issues had failed the family made the decision to discontinue all supportive measures. Anticipating that this action would result in clinical death, the family preferred to wait until the entire team and equipment were in place at the member’s bedside.
Suspended Animation was requested to join Alcor’s Aaron Drake, already on standby, for a full deployment. All team members, including a board certified veterinary vascular surgeon and perfusionist, were in place prior to discontinuing the life support. The member’s health continued to decline for another 18 hours before he was pronounced by hospital staff. Immediate stabilization, cool down and a field washout were performed and the patient was shipped to Alcor by air ambulance. We achieved full perfusion of the brain and an estimated net perfusion of 95%, including the body. On June 11th, A-2371 becomes our 96th patient.
A-1556, who remains temporarily confidential at the request of the family, was suffering with end-stage dementia in California. The family moved their father to Scottsdale to be close to Alcor in his final days. After a short stay in the hospital, physicians determined the individual could no longer eat or drink and that hospice care was the best option. The member was transferred to a hospice facility that is located only ten minutes from Alcor’s facilities, and a standby was established.
Aaron Drake and various members of Arizona’s response team, along with Sandra Russell from Critical Care Research, rotated shifts over the course of the next six days until the member was pronounced. Immediate bedside stabilization and cool down began with the member being transferred by Alcor’s Rescue Vehicle to a waiting surgical team at Alcor Central. Cryoprotection procedures ensued and we achieved terminal perfusion. On June 24th, A-1556 became Alcor’s 97th patient.
Alcor member Dr. Darius Nelson, A-2158, practiced medicine in Southern California. He had long suffered from prostate cancer that generated a roller coaster of health issues. While not ill enough to launch a standby, Darius’ health was fragile and Alcor felt it was prudent to pre-position a mini-med kit at his home a few months ago. This was due to his specific circumstances – 24 hour nursing care and cryonics friends that lived close by – both who were willing to assist in administering the medications in the event of an unexpected clinical death.
On Sunday morning, June 27th, after appearing to have a very good day with respect to his health, Darius stopped breathing. His health care provider immediately called Alcor’s emergency number upon confirming his condition and also contacted a local Alcor member who was a close personal friend of Darius. Within the hour, he was pronounced, the pre-positioned medications were administered and the patient was immersed in ice. A local mortuary was called and they transferred the patient to Critical Care Research (CCR) while Southern California team members delivered the remaining med kit. Dr. Harris and his team administered the remaining medications, performed a washout and prepped the patient for transport.
We were faced with a potential straight freeze of this patient because the vital statistics office would not open for another day. To avoid this outcome, we chose to modify our typical whole body surgical procedure. CCR performed a washout on the entire body and isolated the cephalon for immediate transport to Alcor via air ambulance. The trunk was then perfused by CCR, placed on dry ice, and transported to Alcor after the transfer permit was obtained.
Technically we achieved terminal perfusion on both the cephalon and the trunk. However, we remain concerned that the cephalon perfusion statistically appeared less than optimal. Darius is now Alcor’s 98th patient.