Alcor News

Alcor News

News Blog of the Alcor Life Extension Foundation

New Medical Response Director

On Monday September 17, 2018, following a series of interviews with promising candidates, Alcor offered the position of Medical Response Director to Christopher Divver. Chris accepted and began work the same day.

Chris comes to Alcor with more than 35 years of public service. Chris joined the U.S. Navy in 1990, having served overseas during the first Gulf War aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) fueling aircraft. Afterwards, Chris volunteered as a firefighter and hazardous materials technician and eventually was hired by a fire department in New Jersey, where, after 20 years of service, he retired as a company officer.

Chris has been a National Registry paramedic since 1999 and a State of Arizona certified paramedic since 2017, with proficiency in both ground and flight settings. He has a Master of Public Administration degree from Argosy University with an undergrad degree in Fire Science from Columbia Southern University. In addition to a Certified Public Manager certification from Arizona State University, Chris was the first company officer from his fire department to be accepted to and graduate from the Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy—a four-year management and leadership course that examines how to exercise leadership when dealing with difficult or unique community challenges.

Chris has authored several published research papers, print and electronic magazine articles, as well as two novels. He lives in Peoria, AZ with his wife, Karen, and their two fur-babies, Clark and Ellen.

You can find contact information for Chris on the Christopher Divver page.

Underfunding Dues Percentage Unchanged

Extensive actuarial analysis of the effects of members with funding below current cryopreservation minimums. At the 2018 Annual Meeting, the following resolution was made and affirmed:

Move $47,0000 from Reserves into the Underfunding Fund and keep the Underfunding Dues percentage at 2%.

Cryopreservation Minimums Unchanged

At the 2018 Annual Meeting, cryopreservation minimums were left unchanged, remaining at the levels set in 2011. These minimums remain:

Neuro: $80,000 (or $100,000 to receive a waiver of the $180/year Comprehensive Member Standby fee).
Whole Body: $200,000 (or $220,000 to receive a waiver of the $180/year CMS fee)

Membership dues also remain unchanged.

2018 Annual Meeting Elections

Here are the results of the elections at the Alcor Annual Meeting on September 15, 2018:

DIRECTORS
All directors were unanimously re-elected:
Mike Anzis
Andy Aymeloglu
Ralph Merkle, Ph.D.
Mike O’Neal, Ph.D.
Michael Riskin, Ph.D., CPA
Michael Seidl, Ph.D., J.D.
Brian Wowk, Ph.D.

OFFICERS
President: Max More was re-relected unanimously.
CFO/treasurer: Michael Perry was re-relected unanimously.
Secretary: Michael Perry was re-relected unanimously.

A-2887 becomes Alcor’s 160th patient on August 13, 2018

Herbert Drazen, Alcor member A-2887, a non-confidential, whole body member, was pronounced on August 13, 2018 (after an unknown amount of time before being discovered) in Pomona, New York. He became Alcor’s 160th patient that day, and arrived at Alcor for cool down on August 15, 2018.

(All times are in Mountain Time in 24-hour format.) On Monday, August 13, 2018 at 09:03 a Telemed alert was received, informing Alcor that non-confidential Alcor member Herbert Drazen of Pomona, New York had been pronounced deceased. The member lived alone in a small upstate New York community about an hour north of Manhattan.

The patient had been found in his home by a relative who had received a call from the dialysis center that the patient was late for an appointment. The police and paramedics were present at the time and they immediately released the patient as he was not considered to be a coroner’s case.

With the assistance of Alcor’s local mortician, a New York mortician was contacted and sent to retrieve the patient and pack him in dry ice as quickly as possible. Since the New York Mortician estimated that the patient had died approximately 24 hours (and perhaps considerably longer) prior to being found, it was decided by the Alcor Deployment Committee that it would not be possible to perfuse this patient. Therefore, the decision was made to pack the patient in dry ice as quickly as possible and then have him air shipped back to Alcor to be placed into liquid nitrogen. The New York mortician was very cooperative and helpful.

The patient departed JFK Airport in New York on Wednesday, August 15, 2018, at 15:06 and arrived at Phoenix, Sky Harbor Airport at 20:55. The patient was placed into cooldown at Alcor on August 20, 2018.

A-1334 becomes Alcor’s 159th patient on July 22, 2018

Ron Putirka, Alcor member A-1334, a non-confidential, neurocryopreservation member, was pronounced on July 22, 2018 in Las Vegas Nevada. He became Alcor’s 159th patient the same day.

On July 18, 2018, a close friend of Alcor member, Ron Putirka, a 73-year old man, notified Alcor that the member had been admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at a hospital in Las Vegas. This was due to difficulty breathing, unresponsiveness, and a diagnosis of stage IV prostate cancer with multi-system organ failure. Ron’s career as a singer started in Detroit, MI when he was a teenager. In his later years, while living part of the time in Nevada, he had sung in many nightclubs in Las Vegas.

The Alcor Deployment Committee sent Suspended Animation (SA) to the patient’s location with their mobile operating vehicle. The immediate deployment was requested as the member was declining rapidly. After a four-day standby, the member was pronounced legally deceased at 03:11 hrs. on July 22, 2018. Ron arrived at Alcor 7 hours and 15 minutes after pronouncement. Less than six hours later, the cool down process begun.

A-1377 becomes Alcor’s 158th patient on June 18, 2018

A-1377, a confidential whole body member, was pronounced on June 18, 2018 in Raleigh, North Carolina. He became Alcor’s 158th patient the same day (although arrived at Alcor on June 19).

On Saturday, June 16, 2018, a TeleMed alert was sent out at 13:31 hrs stating that confidential Alcor member A-1377 was close to death. A decision was made by the Alcor Deployment Committee to have Suspended Animation (SA) deploy for standby. A flight was booked to depart that night at 22:30 hrs which would arrive at the destination on the following morning
at 06:15 hrs.

This 49-year-old member had developed esophageal cancer several years earlier which had progressed to stage IV despite an esophagectomy, radiation therapy, and several courses of chemotherapy.

At the time of this case, the member had been in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) with presumed aspiration pneumonia and sepsis and had deteriorated despite therapy to the point that he had required high-dose vasopressor support and mechanical ventilation.

Based on the member’s condition, the family elected to withdraw support as soon as SA was on site and ready. When the member was pronounced, SA performed the stabilization protocol and then transferred the patient to a local funeral home for the washout procedure. The perfusion was completed at 19:31 hrs and preparations for transport were begun.

The patient arrived at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix, AZ at 15:06 hrs on June 19, 2018, and SA met with Alcor staff at 16:13 hrs for the patient handoff for cryoprotectant perfusion at Alcor.

Annual Meeting of the Alcor Board of Directors, September 15, 2018

The 2018 Alcor Annual Meeting will be held on Saturday September 15, 2018, starting at 11:00 am (MST) at the Alcor facility (7895 East Acoma Drive in Scottsdale, AZ). The start time is may change. The elections of directors and officers will be conducted at this meeting and a wide range of topic will be discussed publicly both before and after a lunch break. Members and the public are encouraged to attend this meeting. The 2018 Strategic Meeting is also scheduled the same weekend, including Friday and Sunday sessions. Some sessions are closed but a summary of the topics discussed at the 2018 Strategic Meeting will be posted to our blog and newsletter.

Timothy Hubley, A-1395, becomes Alcor’s 157th Patient on May 13, 2018

Timothy Hubley, A-1395, a non-confidential neuropreservation member was pronounced on May 13, 2018 in Jacksonville, Florida. He became Alcor’s 157th patient on May 14.

Timothy (Tim) Hubley suffered a stroke in January of 2016. He was starting to regain his speech and balance. He and his wife had just moved to Jacksonville, FL to be closer to his wife’s family. They would be able to help care for Tim and his wife. On Sunday, May 13, 2018, Alcor received a emergency alert about Tim. Tim and his family had sat down to dinner when a piece of steak became lodged in Tim’s throat. Chest thrusts and CPR were performed immediately by family members. Tim was taken to a nearby hospital but was pronounced legally deceased.

Alcor began making arrangements immediately to fly to Jacksonville and perform field cryoprotective perfusion. The Medical Examiner contacted Alcor and stated that an autopsy was required due to the patient’s suspected cause of death and because he did not have a primary physician to sign the death certificate. Alcor worked with the Medical Examiner and we were able to avoid an autopsy. The Medical Examiner released Tim to a local funeral home with no additional issues.

Eric Vogt of ICE (International Cryomedicine Experts) and Alcor’s Medical Response Director, Josh Lado, arrived in Jacksonville on Monday morning. Field cryoprotective perfusion was started 17 hours after legal death was declared. Cryoprotective perfusion started at 08:50 (MT) and was completed at 13:15. A terminal concentration of M22 was reached and maintained to ensure equilibrium. There was no evidence of edema. Overall, the perfusion went well apart from a temporary stoppage of flow that was resolved by repositioning the pump and tubing. The patient was then secured in a neuro shipper and cooled with dry ice.

The team left Jacksonville on Tuesday morning. Upon arrival back at Alcor, the patient was placed into the cooldown dewar and the computer system was initiated. Once cooldown is completed, Alcor will perform CT scans to determine the degree of success of the perfusion.

More details will be provided in a forthcoming case report.