X-Message-Number: 16364
Date: Sun, 27 May 2001 22:01:18 -0400 (EDT)
From: Charles Platt <>
Subject: Reply to Graham Hipkiss

On Mon, 28 May 2001, Graham  Hipkiss wrote:

> I agree with you that your criticism, expressed on cryonet, mainly
> directed against CI, which some find to be purely negative, is
> probably constructive and may contribute to necessary improvements in
> suspension proceedures.

Thanks, but it wasn't my intention to reopen a discussion of CI procedures
on CryoNet. I wrote one sentence for a UK mail list, reiterating an
opinion that I have stated in the past. Almost all my recent posts on
CryoNet have concerned Alcor and its dealings with UK members.
Subsequently I did reply at some length to David Pascal, because I felt he
mischaracterized my past statements. But right now I just want to wait and
see if Yuri Pichugin's new affiliation with CI will bring about any

> However, I am still considering a transfer from Alcor to CI, although
> I have been an active member of Alcor UK since 1994.  Now that CI use
> a ramped glycerol perfusion and we have a CI standby team being
> organised, it would seem to be the best choice for people in the UK.

Well, it's your ONLY choice if you are not "grandfathered in" with Alcor;
and even if you are, the text that I read in Cryonics magazine seemed to
imply that overseas Alcor members should have diminished expectations.

Regarding your problem in the UK, I have felt from the start that for many
reasons, your best solution is to do washout, perfusion, and initial
cooldown yourselves, and then ship the patient on dry ice, to CI or any
other organization which will offer a "storage on demand" service. Alan
Sinclair has said that he developed a dry-ice transport box that was used
twice, successfully, and was designed to maintain the low internal
temperature for several days. The equipment that you would need for
perfusion is not prohibitively expensive. Surgical skills are necessary,
to cannulate blood vessels, but I believe you have a mortician who has
already done this in at least one case.

You would (I think) be taking a substantial risk if you merely do blood
washout and then ship the patient in water ice. All it takes is an
unexpected delay at customs, and the patient arrives with all the ice
melted, and an unpleasantly long period during which deterioration will
have occurred.

At one point Mike Darwin made an offer to give CI some equipment that
would enable better data collection, more reliable measurement of edema,
and some other enhancements. CI refused this gift, but maybe people in the
UK would accept it, if Mike still has the spare equipment. This of course
is an issue you should discuss with him directly.

> Maybe, Alcor is the superior because they use stabilising medications
> which should be advantageous and CI, at present, do not, but they are
> useless unless you have people around to apply them quickly.

And, vitrification procedures are not so simple; and since vitrification
means that the entire patient becomes a solid, brittle object that
fractures easily under thermal stress, higher-storage temperature is
desirable, which is not a trivial problem.

If I were in your position, I would try to implement the kind of
relatively simple glycerol perfusion that Alcor used in the 1980s, as
developed by Darwin and Leaf. However, like you, I would prefer to see
other people comment on this, since there may be factors of which I am

The bottom line is that if you would prefer a more sophisticated set of
procedures immediately following pronouncement of death, it should be
within your capabilities to do this yourselves. If you can manage this,
then the discussion of CI's postmortem protocol becomes irrelevant, since
you would be using your own protocol, instead of just hoping passively
that the CI-affiliated mortician will know what to do.

Your choice.

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