Alcor News

Alcor News

News Blog of the Alcor Life Extension Foundation

Member A-3217 becomes Alcor’s 173rd patient on September 30, 2019

A-3217, a confidential, 55-year old, female, neurocryopreservation member, was pronounced legally dead on September 30, 2019 in Alberta, Canada.

A-3217 had been a member of Alcor since January 31, 2019. In August her family alerted Alcor that her cancer was progressing. Alcor suggested relocating the member to a Scottsdale, Arizona hospice. This would eliminate transport delays and avoid possible legal and regulatory problems due to Alberta’s jurisdiction. A late relocation is never easy and the family decided not to pursue that option.

While engaging in a standby for another member on the West Coast, Alcor heard from the family on September 30, 2019. Her physicians did not expect her to live more than 24 hours. Based on new information, a medical advisor agreed that an immediate deployment was called for. Alcor immediately relocated a team member from the West Coast to Alberta and engaged International Cryomedicine Experts (ICE) to take charge of stabilization and transport. Several Alcor staff provided additional coordination and logistics planning.

The member had declined unexpectedly rapidly. Just the day before pronouncement, the member’s spouse said that doctors thought A-3217 had another couple of weeks. The shortage of time combined with bad weather (delaying flights from the USA) and local regulations to create major barriers to a timely response. The challenges were met with strong teamwork, cooperation from the family, and efforts by the funeral home to expedite the required transit permit. Team members administered some medications early on followed by additional medications when more team members arrived.

The funeral home had originally told Alcor that it would take three days to get a transit permit. By going to the relevant office in person they hoped to get a same-day release. In the end, we had to wait overnight as the patient cooled to get clearance to move. Even though there was no funding for a private flight, Alcor decided to secure one in order to shave crucial time off the transport. This enabled us to conduct cryoprotection despite a longer transport time than desired.

Members who do not provide funding for a private flight should not expect Alcor to arrange one. In this case, the decision was justified by our ability to also use the flight to get a full field neurocryopreservation kit into Canada.

A-3217 arrived at Alcor on October 1, 2019. After cryoprotection she went into cryogenic cooldown at 19:36 hrs.

Jianhau Ma, member A-3259, becomes Alcor’s 171st patient on August 8, 2019

Jianhau Ma, Alcor member A-3259, a non-confidential 50-year old female Alcor member with whole-body cryopreservation arrangements, was pronounced legally dead on August 8, 2019 in Boston, MA. She had stage IV ovarian cancer and had been an Alcor member for less than a month. Washout in the field was prevented by bad weather prohibiting the team from getting to the patient in time. In order to reduce ischemic time, the patient was flown by air ambulance to Alcor where whole-body perfusion was performed.

Cryogenic cooldown was initiated on August 9, 2019 and terminated on August 15, 2019. That day, Jianhau became Alcor’s 171st patient.

Gordon Norman, member A-1833, becomes Alcor’s 170th patient on May 26, 2019

Gordon Norman, Alcor member A-1833, a non-confidential whole body member, was pronounced legally dead on May 26, 2019 in Knoxville, TN. Mr. Norman, a member since 2000, received a brief standby followed by stabilization, field blood substitution, and transport by Suspended Animation in Knoxville and underwent cryoprotective perfusion at Alcor on May 27. That day, he became Alcor’s 170th patient.

Arthur Naiman, member A-1499, becomes Alcor’s 169th patient on May 13, 2019

Arthur Naiman, member A-1499, a non-confidential whole body member was pronounced legally dead on May 13, 2019 in Tucson, Arizona. After a four-day standby followed by stabilization and transport carried out by Alcor’s Medical Response Director and his local team, Mr. Naiman was cryoprotected at Alcor and started cool down on May 13. Mr. Naiman has been an Alcor member since 1995.

Bahareh Bina, A-3240 becomes Alcor’s 168th patient on April 29, 2019

Bahareh Bina (A-3240), a non-confidential female neurocryopreservation member from Bellevue, King County, Washington, became Alcor’s 168th patient on April 29, 2019.

On April 27th, Alcor deployed contractor Suspended Animation (SA) to Washington state, accompanied by Alcor’s Medical Response Director, Chris Divver, as an observer. The standby team set up at the Ms. Bahareh Bina’s house that evening. Bahareh was a 33-year old female member with mesenchymal chondrosarcoma, a form of cancer. She had been released from a hospital into home hospice care. The member and her family did not want to relocate to hospice care in Scottsdale, AZ.

It was discovered that King County stood out from other counties in the state by being especially demanding and difficult when it comes to obtaining a transit permit to move a legally deceased person out-of-state. Although, in Washington state, a hospice RN can make a legal pronouncement of death over the phone from family, without having to see the patient, they cannot help with the transit permit. Efforts by the team avoided the potential delay.

Bahareh Bina was pronounced legally deceased at 11:53 by a hospital nurse on April 29, 2019, in Bellevue, Washington. Despite concerns, surgery and washout went quickly and smoothly and paperwork was organized and received quickly. Cooling, stabilization, and medication administration followed. SA’s surgeon and perfusionist conducted a whole-body washout with organ preservation solution. Bahareh arrived by plane in Phoenix at 21:00 and arrived at Alcor at 22:15. Cryoprotection started sooner after, followed by cool down.

Jerry Searcy, A-1039, becomes Alcor’s 167th patient on March 24, 2019

Jerry Searcy, a non-confidential neuropreservation member became Alcor’s 167th patient on March 24, 2019, in Scottsdale, AZ. Jerry had been an Alcor member since 1979 and was a very active volunteer. His death was sudden and unexpected as Jerry seemed to be in good health for his age. Fortunately, the medical examiner released him to us without any damaging autopsy. It is not known how long the period of ischemia was – other than it cannot have been more than 24 hours.

Alcor member A-3224 becomes Alcor’s 166th patient on March 2, 2019

A-3224, a confidential 85-year-old Alcor member with third-party neurocryopreservation arrangements, was declared legally dead on February 20, 2019 in San Francisco, California.

A-3224, a third-party sign-up, was pronounced clinically deceased before any membership paperwork had been signed. Relatives placed him into a freezer at a funeral home in the San Francisco bay area while we awaited funds to be transferred and paperwork to be completed. Although Alcor rarely approves third-party sign-ups, this one passed most of our criteria. Medical Response Director, Chris Divver, flew to the member’s location on February 27 to coordinate with the funeral director.

Prior to his departure, Chris spent time with Alcor Technical Coordinator, Steve Graber, to practice building Alcor’s standard whole body dry ice shipper to get more hands-on knowledge of the process. He also included a copy of the instructions to bring with me. Once in the area, using Alcor documentation Chris worked with the funeral service to build the dry ice shipper. The quality of the build was verified through extensive photographic documentation and an overnight dry ice consumption test.

On March 1, the dry ice shipper was sealed and transported to the airport. Unfortunately, the dry ice shipper was 100lbs overweight and was unable to get onto the flight. Although this was frustrating, it was far better than shipping with insufficient dry ice. On March 2, the case was resealed and taken to the airport, this time being under the weight limit. The member arrived that evening and went into cool down at 10:30 pm.

Alcor member A-1661 becomes Alcor’s 165th patient on January 2, 2019

Lisa Shock, a non-confidential Alcor member (A-1661) with neurocryopreservation arrangements, died suddenly in Scottsdale, Arizona on January 2, 2019.

She was found by a friend who called Alcor immediately. The paramedics were called and she was transported to the hospital where she was legally pronounced deceased on January 2, 2019. Alcor worked with the Medical Examiner and the member was released to Alcor within hours of her legal death. Lisa Shock, who had been an active Alcor organizer for many years became Alcor’s 165th patient that same day.