X-Message-Number: 27954
Date: Fri, 19 May 2006 15:37:46 EDT
Subject: Ischemic damage and SA

I have been asked to comment on the recent exchange about  

affordability/desirability of Cryonics Institute  members adding the  initial 
services of a 
standby team of Suspended Animation Inc., to try  to minimize warm ischemic 
First, of course, there are many uncertainties, and no one can give advice  
which is at once very quantitative and very reliable. It is also obvious that  
anyone who can afford it should buy whatever he considers the best, even if a  
10% improvement costs 200% more. It is also obvious that "affordability" is 
both  objective (the money is available or it isn't) and subjective (you are  

willing to spend it or not). CI has a contract with SA, thanks to Ben Best and
Charles Platt, and CI plus SA is still less much expensive than Alcor for 
full  body, and only slightly more expensive than Alcor's head-only, which CI 
does not  offer. 
Having said that, I think the advantages of SA standby have been overstated.  
I say this not to antagonize anybody, but partly just to be accurate and 
partly  not to discourage those who may get the feeling that only the most 
expensive  approach has much chance. 
First, it seems unlikely to me that death will often  be predictable within a 
few days, so that you may need repeated standbys,  or a long standby, at very 
high expense. I don't know if statistics are  readily available.
Second, if you do call for a standby, how long will it take the SA team to  

assemble and arrive on site? Surely, in most cases, at least half a day. And if
 the patient is shipped without waiting for SA, you owe them the standby  
Third, if death is expected reasonably soon (within six months) the patient  
can be put under hospice care (either at home or in a hospital or hospice  
facility) which greatly reduces the red tape. There has been prompt action  in 
all of our several hospice cases.
Fourth, if you look at all of the information on our web site,  and looking 
also at Dr. Pichugin's work, it doesn't look anything like  total destruction 
within a day or so. Beached whales dead for two days have  shown several 
biomarkers not too far off living values, as I recall.
In particular, as one example, Tower et al. showed preservation of oxygen  
consumption and enzyme activities in brains of many species, including whales  
subject to many hours of warm ischernia, after isolation from the dead animal  
and freezing. Hopefully, the point is clear that brain structure and  

enzymatic activity and even some brain functions survive freezing even when  
is done after hours of unprotected clinical death and even with minimal  or no 
cryoprotection. Citation below.

Tower, D.B., and Young, O.M. "Interspecies correlations of  cerebral cortical 
oxygen consumption, acety1cholinesterase activity and chloride  content: 
studies on the brains of the fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) and the  sperm 
whale (Physeter catodon)." J. NEUROCHEM. 20:253-267, 1973.  
Robert Ettinger 

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