Alcor News Bulletin
                 Number 5: January 18th, 2003

          Training Courses: Preliminary Proposal

Although Alcor has acquired professional medical assistance 
from paramedics (as reported in previous issues of Alcor 
News), we still depend heavily on our trained members for 
local help in a health emergency. Too many months have 
elapsed since our last training course, and we want to run 
one which will provide all our Alcor Cryotransport 
Technicians with up-to-date information on urgent issues 
such as our new medications protocol.

The question is: When?

The first opportunity for us would be the seven days 
commencing Saturday, March 1st. However, some people have 
suggested that a more appropriate time would be in the 
summer, when more people tend to take vacation time and 
hotel rates in Phoenix are lower. One problem from our point 
of view is that by the summer, we hope to be doing major 
work to expand and reorganize our facility. On the other 
hand, we should schedule our training when as many people as 
possible are available.

This is your opportunity to register your preference. If you 
are interested in attending our training course, please send 
email to (do not use that address for any other 
purpose) and tell us:

1. What is the ideal time of year for you to attend?

2. Would you be able to attend if we schedule the course 
from March 1st through March 7th inclusive? (Note: We would 
require all students to begin on the first day of the 
course, but you would not necessarily have to stay till the 
end of the course.)

Please notify us of your preferences as soon as possible.


              Alcor Eliminates Signup Fees

As reported in the previous Alcor News, our board of 
directors gave our President and CEO, Jerry Lemler, the 
authority to make changes in our signup fees and study the 
outcome. Dr. Lemler has completely eliminated the initial 
$150 signup fee and also the subsequent monthly charge of 
$25 that was billed to prospective members who prolonged the 
signup process beyond 6 months. 

People who paid the $150 signup fee but have not completed 
the signup process yet will have their $150 credited against 
their membership dues when they eventually join Alcor. 
Jennifer Chapman has already sent out a mailing notifying 
prospective members. She can be reached on extension 113 at 
the Alcor main number, 480 905 1906.

Alcor reserves the right to modify its fee structure in the 
future. Therefore, we encourage everyone to complete the 
signup process during this zero-fee window of opportunity.


       Alcor Takes First Step Toward New Ambulance

As previously reported here, Alcor's existing ambulance did 
not perform reliably in a recent case. The vehicle has been 
repaired, but replacing it is a major priority.

After much discussion of alternatives, including second-hand 
ambulances, Winnebago-style motor homes, and trailers, we 
decided to buy a truck and convert it for our specific 
requirements. This was the only way to gain the head room 
and elbow room that we need to fulfill our longterm ambition 
to perform basic procedures in remote locations. 

In a remote standby, our usual practice is to move a patient 
from a hospital or hospice to a mortuary where we wash out 
the blood via femoral bypass and replace it with an organ 
preservation solution. The patient is then packed in ice and 
transported to Alcor. In the future, in remote locations 
where we have sufficient warning to deploy our "truck-
ambulance," we hope to perform blood washout and organ 
preservation in the vehicle itself. This will represent a 
significant saving in time.

We may also pursue the possibility of placing a patient on 
"warm bypass." One of our medical advisors believes that if 
the procedure is performed promptly enough, a patient who 
has been pronounced legally dead can be connected to a 
conventional heart-lung machine which will provide metabolic 
support for as long as 48 hours at only a slightly reduced 
temperature. In this scenario, the patient would be moved to 
Alcor in our vehicle while remaining on bypass, and the 
usual period of cardiac arrest in which ischemic injury can 
occur would be virtually eliminated.

These options are speculative and cannot be applied to human 
patients until we feel confident of the outcome. Our 
purchase of the new vehicle is a first step which will 
enable us to develop and refine our capabilities in the 

The vehicle we chose is a 2002 Ford truck carrying a box-
style container 8 feet wide, 16 feet long, and 7 feet high. 
This type of vehicle is often owned by rental companies and 
is typically used by movers. We will be adding thermal 
insulation, air conditioning for the load area, and several 
alternate sources of power, including 115 volts from a large 
gasoline-powered generator, smoothed 115 volts from a 
smaller Honda generator (suitable for sensitive electronic 
devices), and a 12-volt circuit for halogen lighting. Proper 
venting will be included so that oxygen can be used safely 
in the vehicle.

In the meantime, Alcor's operations manager James Sikes has 
completed our conversion project for the Chevy Suburban that 
was purchased late last year. When the seats are folded down 
we have a load area which is large enough to accommodate a 
wheeled portable ice bath that James fabricated from welded 
steel tube. Heavy-duty wiring has been installed from the 
battery to the interior of the vehicle, where we now have a 
massive power inverter capable of 1000 watts continuous and 
3000 watts peak power. (This type of wire and inverter are 
normally used for car stereo systems.) The inverter has 
ample capacity to run a recirculating pump in the ice bath, 
plus interior lighting.

In the future, the Suburban can provide backup capability in 
Phoenix while the truck-ambulance is deployed elsewhere. The 
Suburban could collect a patient who has been flown in from 
a remote location, while the truck can be in California 
during a standby.

The two vehicles will add significantly to our response 
capability. We also hope to create less ambitious van 
conversions for regional groups. These conversions will rely 
to some extent on the experience that we gain in converting 
the truck.


         Plans for Facility Expansion: First Phase

As reported previously, Alcor has outgrown its current space 
and will expand into adjoining units at its Scottsdale 
location. The three-person committee which was assigned the 
task of studying options has reached a consensus, and its 
plans will be presented to Alcor employees on Monday, 
January 20th. After the people who use the facility make 
their suggestions, plans will be modified accordingly and 
presented to the Patient Care Trust and the Alcor board of 

Alcor News is written primarily by Charles Platt.
Contents are copyright 2003 by Alcor 
Foundation but permission is granted to reprint any whole 
news item, so long as Alcor is credited as the source and 
the reprint includes our URL at