Re: Alcor

From: S.J. Van Sickle (
Date: Fri Jan 05 2001 - 15:22:15 MST

On Fri, 5 Jan 2001, E. Shaun Russell wrote:

> That is truly interesting. Do you have any links to details, Steve? Thanks.

Here you go, Shaun, from Cryonet last week:

Message #15204
Date: Thu, 28 Dec 2000 12:52:59 -0700
From: Fred Chamberlain <>
Subject: Alcor Neuro-Vitrification Procedure Yesterday, and Thanks to

In a recent post, I mentioned, "At this time, it appears nearly certain
that a second neurovitrification will take place before the end of the
year." At the time that post went out, the suspension was actually in
progress. As of 2:00 a.m. this morning, our second neuro
cryovitrification procedure of this month was into cooldown, having
achieved the necessary levels of cryoprotection with freeze blockers to
give us high confidence that most of the brain will cryovitrify.
The qualification "most of the brain" relates to the fact that this Alcor
Member was a mid-forties gal who was struck by a pickup truck while
walking her dog along an icy road in the northern part of the U.S., remote
from all large cities. It happened virtually in front of her house, and
her husband, also an Alcor Member, was at her side immediately. Being
well known cryonicists in the area, they were able to get the Coroner to
come immediately to the accident site, and by the time he arrived only a
few minutes later, the husband was speaking on his cell phone with Jerry
Lemler, M.D., Alcor's Medical Director who is on the verge of moving to
Arizona to take over this role on a full time basis.
As the Coroner stepped from his car, the husband was able to literally
"hand the cell phone" to the Coroner, who found himself talking with a
M.D., with the result that immediate release and waiver of autopsy was
achieved, and good cooperation with the local hospital was obtained, with
administration of heparin (anti-coagulant medication) and continuation of
cooling. In several recent suspensions, we have found that immediate
intervention by an Alcor M.D. has "turned the tide" in what otherwise
could have been a tragic defeat of the Members' purpose in being a member
of Alcor. (Alcor now has three M.D.'s who are trained in both surgery as
well as rescue coordination skills, and will continue to expand this
participation as more M.D.'s join Alcor and help to "spread the load".)
Delays in surface and air transportation, particularly due to heavy
Holiday traffic, brought about a 30+ hour delay, prior to surgery at Alcor
Central. Notwithstanding this, new surgical procedures, combined with far
more effective cryoprotective agents and freeze blockers, permitted brain
washout and cryoprotection beyond any levels that would have been possible
before. (Immediate intervention by an Alcor M.D. was a critical link
also, as already mentioned).
One very synergistic aspect was that extensive consulting, coaching and
advice were provided, during the procedure, by the same science team that
had developed the new cryoprotective agents and freeze blockers. The
availability to Alcor of in-depth knowledge of the physiology of
cryoprotection, adjusted to this particular case, was invaluable, helping
us to provide the utmost possible level of brain protection for an Alcor
Member who had suffered a totally unexpected termination of her first life
cycle. It also gives additional confidence to the rest of us that we can
"go to higher levels" in aiding other Alcor Members who might encounter
similar threats to irrecoverable loss of their lives, in the future.
More details will be reported in future issues of Cryonics Magazine (we
hope to have some of these articles in the Alcor website before long, and
will announce this on CryoNet as it happens). We are looking forward to
the day when the research that underlies these new vitrification
procedures have been reported in the scientific literature, so that we can
give a better sense of the underlying science to those who want to
understand it. Despite this limitation, we have (with the in-depth aid of
the scientists involved) recently published a necessarily limited account
of the new procedures in Cryonics Magazine, and that article (lacking the
graphics at this point) is already available on the Alcor Website (take
the "News and Events" link), at:

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