A-2858 became Alcor’s 184th patient in July 2021

A-2858 was a 65-year-old female who had whole body arrangements. Legal death was declared in Minnesota, USA in July 2021 after a daily check by the hospice nurse. Due to the delay in Alcor learning of legal death, cryoprotective perfusion was not feasible. After a straight freeze by strategic partner International Cryomedicine Experts, the patient was transported to Alcor for cryogenic cooldown.

A full case report is being prepared.

A-1845 became Alcor’s 183rd patient in July 2021

A-1845 was an 83-year-old male with neuro cryopreservation arrangements. Legal death was declared in Florida, USA in July 2021. Notification was such it was only possible for one team member to arrive before pronouncement.  After an abbreviated stabilization and field neuro cryoprotection by strategic partner International Cryomedicine Experts (ICE), the patient was transported to Alcor for cryogenic cooldown.

A full case report is being prepared.

Summer 2021 Meta-Analysis Report

The second quarter 2021 issue of Cryonics includes a report on Alcor Case Metrics 2000-2020. This begins with a selection of case data for the years of 2019 and 2020 followed by a look at the 141 cases in the 21-year period from 2000 to 2020. (2000 was picked as the starting point because that year saw the introduction of vitrification technologies at Alcor.)

It’s not uncommon to find people on the internet making claims about the percentage of cases that are straight freezes, or that involve autopsies, and so on. Sometimes these lack any support and at other times the evidence is limited. The meta-analysis makes it possible to examine these numbers objectively and as accurately as possible.

For instance, in the 21 year period 2000 to 2020, 6% of cases involved an autopsy, 13 or 14% involved unattended deaths, and 23% were straight freeze. Cardiopulmonary support was provided in 66% of cases, cryoprotective perfusion was achieved in 77%, and (so far) 10% of cases have been “field cryopreservation”

See the accompanying article, “Alcor Case Metrics: Scope and Comments” by Aschwin de Wolf and Michael Benjamin for thoughts on the usefulness of the meta-analysis results. Although some factors influencing the quality of outcomes is very hard for a cryonics organization to control, none should be considered completely outside the realm of influence. This analysis helps to show where to focus our efforts. The next step in this project is to identify trends and correlation.

–Max More

Keep an eye on the Meta-Analysis Project

One Alcor-funded research project that I’m personally especially interested in is the Meta-Analysis Project. This project, led by Advanced Neural Biosciences’ Aschwin de Wolf and Michael Benjamin, gathers a vast amount of data on every one of Alcor’s cryopreservations and analyzes patterns. ANB began the Alcor Meta-Analysis Project in January 2019 with the goal of developing a quantitative method to evaluate the quality of each cryopreservation case based on a thorough review of all the available case data. The project has 3 phases.

In Phase 1, researchers review and collect relevant data points from all case reports, all raw data such as temperature data and any relevant scientific papers and, for the last decade of cases, CT scans of cryopreserved patients. In phase 2, new outcome metrics have been developed to look at variables such as cryoprotectant distribution and ice formation from the analysis of Phase 1 data. The goal of Phase 3 is to identify areas where protocol and procedure upgrades would likely have the maximum impact at improving patient preservation outcomes.

Alcor and cryonics as a whole can expect to benefit from the outcomes of this work, including:

  • a complete secure database of all the important case variables gleaned from case reports, raw data, and CT scans that can be updated with new cases.
  • important information about trends and outcomes of Alcor procedures.
  • a single or set of case metrics that provide a quantitative result that measures the quality of each patient preservation
  • information about the range of typical patient scenarios, including the modelling of unusual scenarios
  • Recommendations to improve procedures, case work, and case logistics
  • A paper to be published in a scientific journal including the exposition of the cryonics case outcome metric(s) and experimental validations

You can read the initial report in the third quarter 2020 issue of Cryonics. Next report will be published in the second quarter 2021 issue.

A-3024 became Alcor’s 182nd patient in April 2021

A-3024 was a 68-year-old male with inoperable brain cancer who had neuro cryopreservation arrangements. Legal death was declared in Northern California, USA, and the stabilization team arrived seven hours later, four hours after being notified. After stabilization and field neuro cryoprotection, the patient was transported to Alcor for cryogenic cooldown.

A full case report is being prepared.

A-2705 became Alcor’s 181st patient in August 2020

A-2705 was a 67-year-old male with neuro cryopreservation arrangements who used the death with dignity laws in his state to legally terminate his life. His cause of death was kidney failure. He was pronounced legally deceased in August in the state of Washington at 17:17 hrs on T-0 days.

A field cryoprotection (FCP) was performed before the patient was transported to Alcor. Dry ice cooldown was initiated in the field at 23:49 hrs on T-0 days. Cryogenic cooldown was initiated at Alcor at 15.05 on T+1 days and terminated on T+5 at 18.33.  The patient underwent a CT scan while remaining under liquid nitrogen. At the time of writing, A-2705 is still in a small dewar with the transfer to long-term storage yet to take place.

A-2037 became Alcor’s 180th patient in July 2020

A-2037 was a 78-year-old male with neuro cryopreservation arrangements. He was found deceased in his home in Arizona. The cause of death per the death certificate was environmental heat exposure complicated by hypertensive cardiovascular disease. The length of time between cardiac arrest and pronouncement of legal death is an unknown number of days.

The member had no information such as an ID bracelet or wallet ID to let responders know that he was an Alcor member. He was sent to the state funeral home while the medical examiner searched for any family or someone to take possession of his remains. Through this process, they contacted his financial advisor, who was aware of the member’s cryopreservation arrangement and contacted Alcor’s emergency answering service to notify us at 11:07 hrs on T-0 days.

The patient was picked up from the state funeral home at approximately 14:00 hrs. The cephalic isolation took place at Alcor at approximately 15:00 hrs after the patient arrived at Alcor. Cryogenic cooldown was initiated at 15:27 hrs and terminated at 11:20 hrs on T+10 days. The patient was later transferred to long-term maintenance.

De-identification in Case Summaries

Alcor is pushing to provide a higher level of confidentiality and anonymity of members and patients who wish it. As a result:

  • Case summaries no longer identify the location of a patient more precisely than the level of country and (within the USA) state.
  • The date of a cryopreservation will no longer be given except for the month and year. Timelines will begin at <month> at T+0 days. Subsequent days will be presented as “T+x days”. Case summaries will also no longer report confidentiality status.
  • Even if a patient is non-confidential, no name will be given in case summaries. This is to make it more difficult to connect a name in the List of Patients to that Case Summary and A-number, especially if they were the only non-confidential patient that same month.

For links to full case reports, see Complete List of Alcor Cryopreservations, and Complete List of Non-Confidential Cryopreserved Alcor Patients.

Many case reports are currently in the pipeline and will be published soon. Publication was delayed while Alcor decided on the most effective and practicable way of protecting confidentiality for those who request it.

A-3360 becomes Alcor’s 178th Patient in June 2020

Alcor member A-3360 is an 87-year old male with whole body cryopreservation arrangements. He was pronounced legally deceased in June 2020 in California.

This was a third-party sign-up case with cryopreservation arrangements made at the last moment by his family who contacted Alcor shortly after legal death. Alcor’s Deployment Committee dispatched one of its strategic partners, International Cryomedicine Experts (ICE) to send one of their paramedics. Once the legal paperwork had been signed early the next morning, the ICE operative was able to retrieve the patient and manage initial cooldown and transport to Alcor on dry ice. Cryogenic cooldown was completed, and the patient was transferred to long-term storage. A debriefing was held less than two weeks later.

Member A-1404 became Alcor’s 179th Patient in June 2020

Member A-1404, a 59-year old female Alcor member with neuro cryopreservation arrangements was pronounced legally deceased in Texas in June 2020.

Alcor contacted Suspended Animation (SA) to deploy for standby. SA was on the plane with equipment loaded in less than five hours but faced unavoidable layovers and mechanical issues with the planes. In case the delays were too much, Alcor’s Readiness Coordinator promptly got on a flight with a full Field Neuro Cryoprotection Kit, carried all of it into the hospital and got set up. Fortunately, SA arrived within four hours before care was withdrawn from the patient.

SA performed a stabilization and field blood substitution. The patient was flown on ice to Alcor where a neuro separation and neuro cryoprotective procedure was performed. Alcor’s gravity-driven Field Neuro Cryoprotection system was used in place of the standard pump and mixing reservoirs to minimize the generation of aerosols at a time when COVID-19 was spreading. A debriefing was held less than two weeks later.