Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Progress, or Empty Promises?

Thanks to a recent post by Mark Plus, on the Cold Filter forum, I recently read a two-part article posted on Cryonet, by Saul Kent, in April 1998, titled "The Failure of the Cryonics Movement - Part I" and "The Failure of the Cryonics Movement - Part II". The primary topic of the article was the failure of cryonics to attract new followers, in other words, it was a report of a marketing failure. In it, Mr. Kent wrote:

"The result has been the failure to confront and effectively deal with the fact that our failure to sell cryonics has been due, almost entirely, to the poor quality of our product. Outsiders don't have to think twice to come to that conclusion. It's self evident to almost everyone....except to cryonicists!"

Does Saul Kent not see that is still the situation, especially within his own LEF-funded organizations? Let's go back to some excerpts from the February 2000 issue of Life Extension Magazine (note the year "2000"):

"The most recent breakthrough made at The Critical Care Research Project is an Automated Liquid Ventilation System that can lower whole-body temperature extremely rapidly with a (sic) an automated system that introduces cooled liquid perflurocarbon into the lungs without causing lasting injury. What remains is to make the system portable, so that it can fit into an ambulance for use at the scene of automobile accidents, heart attacks and strokes."

All that remained in February 2000 was "to make the system portable" and nearly eight years later, Critical Care Research has not accomplished that? There are papers on liquid ventilation, dating back to the 1920's, and experiments were carried out during World War I; it is not a "new" concept and it was not discovered by anyone in cryonics, though LEF-funded organizations appear to have been taking credit for it, for quite some time, now. More from the LEF magazine article:

"A paper on the Automated Liquid Ventilation System is about to be submitted to a major medical journal for publication. The kind of rapidly-induced hypothermia that's possible with this liquid ventilation system could save the lives of large numbers of people who suffer heart attacks, strokes and severe closed head injuries. The system could also be used in-hospital to give doctors extra time to perform heavy-duty surgical procedures. We expect that this system will eventually make "Headline News" as a one of the early major medical breakthroughs of the 21st century."

This technology has been making the news, but not as a result of anything being done in cryonics. Again, it seems as though LEF was attempting to make it appear that liquid ventilation was a discovery someone in cryonics made, when it certainly was not. Why has LEF continued to fund Critical Care Research for a project in which they have made little-to-no progress over the course of at least seven years? How many times is Steve Harris going to stand up in front of an audience and state that liquid ventilation is an effective method of rapid cooling, when that has been known for decades? The challenge in this project remains what Life Extension Magazine stated it was, nearly eight years ago; to make the device portable.

At this point, I am finding it difficult to believe LEF-funded organizations CCR and SA aren't consciously attempting to make cryonicists believe liquid ventilation IS something new. For example, here's a blog entry from someone who was in attendance at the Alcor Conference, for Steve Harris' presentation:

"Next up was Steve Harris, M.D., of Critical Care Medicine, discussing liquid ventilation, the new method ensuring the fastest cooling of patients. The heart-lung machine is faster, but it requires more time to set up, thus making it practically slower. Liquid ventilation can cool 5 degrees in 5 minutes in dog experiments, once the airway ventilation is set up."

(Note the attendee called liquid ventilation "the new method." I think that is because CCR/SA/LEF tries to leave that impression on their audience.)

Now, excerpts from Charles Platt's review of the 2007 Alcor Conference:

"Steve Harris MD - Following the panel, Steve described the procedure generally known as liquid ventilation which entails infusing the lungs with a chilled breathable liquid while blood is circulated either by natural heartbeats or, in the case of a cryonics case, by cardiopulmonary support. Liquid ventilation enables exceptionally rapid cooling. Only extracorporeal bypass is faster, but it must be preceded by surgery in an appropriate environment. Liquid ventilation can be performed spontaneously in almost any location..."

Since when can it be "performed spontaneously in almost any location"? Can the LEF-funded organizations perform this procedure "spontaneously" at ANY location other than CCR's lab? Last I heard, the SA system was still not portable. The images of the system on their website show how massive it is, and that aluminum frame assembly would most likely be a nightmare in a field situation. I believe Harris has stated he will be using SA's system in his operating room, at CCR, for dog experiments. For what purpose? So he can tell us, yet again, that it's an effective method of rapid cooling?

In my opinion, Harris and Platt did not need to test Platt's device on an animal, so they could establish the rate of cooling and report it at the Alcor conference. Platt's device is much too large for field use, so the rate of cooling is irrelevant. Didn't Mike Darwin prove that LV was an effective method of rapid cooling, to the cryonics community, nearly 22 years ago? And, didn't other people prove this, in conventional medical research, long before that? It's a "no-brainer" that cold lung lavage would achieve a greater cooling rate than simply packing a patient in ice, (provided adequate blood circulation was provided). Until someone delivers this technology to the field, who cares about the actual rate, when we can intuitively know it is much greater than packing the patient in ice? Make it portable and get it out there, THEN worry about improving the rate, if necessary. How many dogs must be subjected to surgery to tell us what we already know...that lung lavage is an effective way to cool? (Where are the animal rights activists when you need them?!)

"...and should require relatively little training of personnel....

LEF-funded organizations CCR and SA seem to think that about ALL medical procedures, as evidenced by the two fabricators and the golf pro they sent to perform whole body perfusion at their only case in three years. CCR uses a qualified, experienced perfusionist for their dog experiments. I wonder if they are required to do so by the people who control animal experiments. If so, why do Saul Kent and Bill Faloon not require the same for their human patients?

"...The procedure has advanced to the point where it may be deployable by Suspended Animation in human cryonics cases during 2008. Animal trials have yielded consistent results exceeding a cooling rate of 1 degree Celsius per minute, in dogs that fully recovered afterward. Higher rates may be feasible if we are willing to inflict some lung damage, which would be acceptable to neuro patients and might also be tolerated by some whole-body cryonics patients."

It "may" be deployable in 2008, or it may not. If it is, what has been the hold up for the past eight years? They didn't have me here, shouting that they weren't accomplishing anything? Who cares about the rate of cooling if you still are not able to deploy the system to the field, which is where cryonicists need it most? As for the lung damage, I doubt it is as serious as the damage that can be inflicted by unqualified persons performing whole body perfusion.

Here's another interesting excerpt, from Life Extension Society News October 1996:
"...and the newly developed technique of liquid ventilation.Technical training was hands-on using animal models."

"Newly developed"??? How can cryonics organizations get away with calling liquid ventilation "new"? I really want to know. And, how can the people funding these projects be so blind? Or are they? Maybe they're not being fooled, maybe they are simply allowing a project that has made little-to-no progress over more than two decades be used as a tactic for marketing cryonics to newcomers who may not be aware of the past, or may not do as much research as they should. Do Kent and Faloon not see this as one of the reasons they have failed, miserably, in marketing cryonics? Any intelligent person is not going to listen to empty promises of a "new" technology for more than a couple of years, without seeing any actual progress. After that, you have to find a new audience.

Mr. Kent also wrote, in his article, there is a lack of evidence that "we can effectively preserve ourselves," but I don't believe that is true. The evidence exists in conventional medicine, where patients are frequently cooled to legal death for periods of up to, (and occasionally even more than), an hour, and are then awakened, memory and personality intact. If it can be performed for a short period of time, it seems reasonable to assume it can work for a longer duration of time, given the proper medications/solutions, and cooling and storage parameters. More importantly, the medical procedures, (such as whole body perfusion), need to be performed by personnel who have been properly trained to perform them in a manner such as to avoid causing harm to the patient. You can't provide a metal fabricator and a golf pro with a weekend training session in perfusion and a couple of videos, and expect them to safely perform this procedure.

Many medical professionals consider the perfusionist to be the person who has the greatest potential for causing harm to the patient, in heart surgery. I'm told accidents or poor technique, (such as improper pressurization, inadequate flows, and massive air emboli), occur in cryonics on a regular basis, while these events were all but eliminated in open-heart surgery decades ago. This, no doubt, is a result of cryonics organizations using unqualified personnel. Perfusionists have either four- or six-year degrees and are required to perform at least 100 cases on a human patient before they can even sit for the board exams, yet Saul Kent thinks he can make do with a golf pro, or a fabricator, who has had a couple of days of training and a few video refresher courses. Everyone even considering SA's services should find this extremely insulting to their intelligence, especially when Mr. Kent is willing to pay these unqualified people as much as experienced, qualified perfusionists.

In the Saul Kent article mentioned above, he states, "Rich people, even rich cryonicists, aren't fools." I wouldn't be so sure of that. Am I the only person to think LEF/Kent/Faloon must be incredibly gullible? I believe they must be, or else they think the rest of the cryonics community is. These two presumably intelligent, successful men are spending millions of dollars a year to accomplish what? To have Steve Harris report that lung lavage is an effective means of rapid cooling, something he and Mike Darwin reported to the cryonics community more than 21 years ago? To send a golf pro and two metal fabricators to do their medical procedures? I really wish someone would explain to me what these two individuals actually think is being accomplished.

If I were funding a liquid ventilation project, and I believed it to be complete in every regard except portability, I would damn sure expect more than someone I was paying to stand up and say the same thing they said eight years ago, (or worse than that, the same thing they said nearly 22 years ago), which is essentially, "We have this great new rapid cooling device, all we need to do is make it portable." In fact, I believe I would want to know why the portability issue wasn't resolved, after only a year or two. I guess I'm more demanding than Bill and Saul, I expect progress, not empty promises.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Review of SA News Bulletin Number 11

In regard to SA "News Bulletin Number 11" (

Ms. Baldwin states that some of the information was "compiled by SA staff," but I think she probably meant SA consultants. I see Charles Platt's and Aschwin de Wolf's influence there, quite clearly, but I doubt much of “News Bulletin 11” was drafted by any of the SA staff members, other than Ms. Baldwin, herself.

We all understand the “Vehicle Relocates to California” paragraph. The statement, “a significant number of our clients live in the West” is rather deceptive. What makes up “the West”? According to the US Census Bureau, “the West” is comprised of thirteen states, including Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming, but a broader definition may include all states west of the Mississippi River. (From )

How many SA clients will ever actually benefit from this vehicle, (or the other vehicle located in Southeast Florida)? The vehicle is really only practical for clients within a very small range. My guess is the vehicle will be retired after being used by one unofficial SA “client.” I wouldn’t really have an issue with Saul having his own cryomobile, if SA would quit trying to deceive their clients, and prospective clients, into believing the vehicle is going to be of use to a significant number of people. If you want a ride in one of the SA vehicles after your legal death, you had best relocate your home to someplace close to Kent or Faloon. Otherwise, you will most likely get a ride in a van rented at the airport closest to your home.

The “Perfusion Training” paragraph is arrogantly absurd. Why would you send three people, with no medical background, whatsoever, for a weekend training session and then expect them to be able to perform a medical procedure that can be tremendously beneficial when properly performed, but equally as dangerous when attempted by amateurs? It would be much more sensible to retain several qualified retired, or per diem, perfusionists to share call. This practice of training RUPs just does not make sense at SA, especially in light of their budget which is ample enough to pay for qualified personnel. I understand other organizations "doing the best they can," within a limited budget, but SA could afford the real thing. Becoming a perfusion technologist typically requires a four-year education that usually includes at least 100 supervised cases on actual human patients. It’s ridiculous to think a weekend training course and some video refresher courses are adequate training for this procedure. SA has only had ONE case in the last three years, how do they expect these amateurs to become proficient in perfusion technology without any real clinical experience? If this was rational, perfusion technology wouldn't require a BS degree.

The “AutoPulse” segment is interesting, especially the part that reads, “While the Thumper is still preferred for active chest compression and decompression…” Why is the Thumper “still preferred”? Because it offers active decompression, an advantage over the AutoPulse. This is an issue Aschwin de Wolf raised when Charles first suggested the very expensive AutoPulse project. Charles didn’t address Aschwin’s concerns with the AutoPulse anymore than he addressed Mathew’s concerns with the ramps, or my concerns with the level detectors, before embarking on yet another fruitless, expensive, time-consuming project.

In layman’s terms…the longer you keep squishing the chest down, the more likely it is to STAY squished down, making chest compressions ineffective. Rib fracture is the most common complication of chest compressions, and can lead to “flail chest,” something Aschwin addressed with Charles and others at SA, many times, in regard to the AutoPulse, a device that only compresses (squeezes) the chest, in comparison to the Thumper, a device that compresses AND decompresses (it suctions onto the chest wall and pulls up on the chest wall, opening the lungs and vasculature).

After a couple of years of working on the AutoPulse, SA (most likely Platt) now describes it as a “backup device.” SA already had a “backup device,” something they used as their PRIMARY device for the CI-81 case…manual chest compressions, something that is quite a bit more affordable and portable than the AutoPulse. Platt somehow convinced Kent to spend a ton of money on this project, (that no doubt has provided Platt with an ample amount of highly-paid “consulting” hours), without even considering the issues Aschwin raised, BEFORE the project was started. This is reminiscent of Platt's decision to choose homemade ramps over professionally installed lift gates, against Mathew Sullivan’s advice, and his determination to build his own level sensors/alarms, no matter how much time and money it meant to SA, in spite of the fact FDA-approved devices could be purchased for less than $400.

SA has purchased at least two AutoPulse devices at a price of $15,000 each, and has paid two people to work on this project for nearly two years, now. The combined cost of these two persons per hour, to SA, is greater than $100 per hour. In addition, these two people took their modified AutoPulse to CCR, in California, and let Harris and company test it on an animal. I suspect SA has spent at least $100K on this project, perhaps even double or triple that amount. Now it’s a “backup system”? Is SA going to carry TWO mechanical CPS devices with them? They are already carrying far too much equipment for remote cases. Common sense dictates that manual chest compressions should be the backup system for the Thumper. Common sense also dictates Platt should have addressed the lack of decompression issue when Aschwin raised it, before spending all that time and money.

As for the “Scribe Sheets,” Aschwin and I had begun working on these, not long before I left SA, against objections from Charles, who for whatever reasons, didn’t seem to like Aschwin and I working together, on anything.

As I’ve recently stated on the Cold Filter forum, there is no need for a person to operate solely as the scribe. While the surgeon and the paramedic cannot document while they perform their procedures, there should be two other persons available, including a perfusionist and a general case assistant. These two people should easily be able to document everything during the initial CPS and surgical portions of the procedure. In heart surgery, the perfusionist documents everything to do with the perfusion, including flows, temperatures, pressures, and much more, every ten minutes. Before and after the patient is “on pump,” the perfusionist is free to document other things. It only takes minutes for an experienced perfusionist to set up and prime the washout circuit.

The only thing I’m going to say about the “Patient Monitoring Training” and “End Tidal CO2” segments is: it’s idiotic to be training metal fabricators and golf pros to learn medical procedures paramedics, EMTs, perfusionists, and other medical personnel have already been thoroughly trained to perform, especially when you are paying the metal fabricators and golf pros up to more than triple what paramedics and EMTs earn, and as much as some perfusionists earn. Ms. Baldwin…show us your management skills…PLEASE…bring some sanity to all this.

The “New Deployment Simulations” section causes me to have very mixed feelings. While, on the one hand, I am happy to see SA doing something more at training sessions than having Platt explain the damaging effects of ice, everyone practice on the Thumper, and then eat pizza, I am angry that Aschwin and I were not able to achieve this, in spite of our efforts, a year ago, thanks to heavy interference from Platt.

Before he resigned, Charles put Aschwin and me “in charge” of one training session. We had planned to have the patient (a medical mannequin) expire upstairs, in my home, a short distance from the SA facility, and transport the patient back to the facility. We wanted to have only a small number of attendees, instead of the large number Platt was accustomed to inviting. Unfortunately, after he put us “in charge,” Charles proceeded to invite quite a number of people. Having 20 people ride in the SA van and enter my home wasn’t really desirable, nor was it a realistic case simulation, so Aschwin and I abandoned that scenario.

After Charles allegedly resigned, the SA staff planned another training session. We planned on inviting only six people whom we considered to be candidates to replace Charles as Saul’s designated “Team Leader.” Surprise, surprise…our “consultant,” Charles Platt contacted a number of the SA standby team members, (some in other states), to notify them of the upcoming training session. I actually had to call people and uninvite them. Hopefully, I was tactful in explaining we no longer wanted to have the large unproductive social gatherings, but were intending to have frequent, more focused sessions, for smaller groups. It's unrealistic to bring 20 people in a few times a year, give them a brief overview of the entire process, do a quick run-through of a simulated case, and expect anyone to remember what to do in the event of an actual case.

Why did Aschwin and I have to resign, before anyone would take our advice, at SA? I gave up a $75K salary, and spent the last six months posting on Cold Filter and my blog, and Aschwin resigned to work with Alcor, and NOW SA is doing what Aschwin and I suggested a long time ago? I guess Aschwin is the smarter of the two of least he's still getting paid as a consultant, while I'm giving SA free advice through my criticisms of them. That's really horrible...they had my expert advice, but I had to leave and become their harshest critic before they would listen to any of it? In my opinion, this was due to Platt's greed and his egotistical need to believe no one can do anything better than he can, and Kent's failure to realize Platt was not really accomplishing anything of significance.

After Charles resigned, I discussed with the other staff members, the idea of having smaller groups do focused training. For instance, I wanted to select a few people to train as designated “perfusionists,” and train them thoroughly, with frequent refresher courses. We had two research scientists who could have worked together on training a few people in the surgical (cannulation) skills. We had a group of paramedics who needed new contracts, but probably would have been a little more devoted if they had ever been respected by Platt and his RUPs.

The paramedics had little devotion to SA, for good reason, in my opinion. When they came to Platt’s training sessions, they received the same information and instruction time-after-time. They saw things that could be improved and made suggestions, only to have their suggestions ignored. In the SA staff debriefings that were held after the training sessions, the paramedics were harshly criticized by Platt and his RUPs, who seemed to think their own knowledge base in regard to the medical procedures was somehow superior to that of the paramedics. Again…stabilization and transport are nothing new…paramedics and EMT’s have been successfully performing these procedures for decades. The only things that might be new to them would be the packing of the patient with ice and the use of the Thumper, (tasks that don’t exactly require a rocket scientist). It didn’t matter that the medications were different, they are still administered the same way, through an IV line.

The paramedics were critical of the PIB, the ramps, and some of the other equipment, just as I was, for good reason. The “transportable” PIB was heavy, cumbersome, and a pain to set up. At the last training session I attended, an SA staff member took 15-20 minutes to set up the PIB, while reading the instructions, and he had practice! As the paramedics stated, this device should be lighter, and setup should be obvious, something that should be able to be accomplished in less than a minute, without instructions.

The SA ramps are not only moronic, in comparison to lift gates, they are dangerous. When you factor in the man-hours of Platt and his fabricators, the ramp systems were significantly more expensive than lift gates. Everyone knows they are foolish devices. Even Charles’ right hand fabrication man said to me, “You and I both know the ramp was a stupid waste of time and money, let’s just wait until he leaves and we’ll get a lift gate.” At which point I said he was delusional if he thought Charles was going to jump off the SA gravy train, anytime soon.

It’s time for Ms. Baldwin to show us what she is made of. Is she a manager, or a mouse? Ms. Baldwin knows the salaries and consulting fees being paid by SA are inappropriate; she could have qualified personnel for the same price, (actually, for much less). She also knows the selection of personnel and consultants is inappropriate. The SA personnel are extremely underqualified to perform medical procedures, yet some of them are being paid more than three times as much as paramedics, and ridiculously more than what they should be paid for the tasks they perform, (building Platt's designs, basic bookkeeping, text-messaging their friends, etc.) Finally, if Ms. Baldwin approves of the equipment SA is using, it could only be because she is unaware of existing, more professionally constructed, less expensive alternatives. When are the REAL changes coming, at SA, Ms. Baldwin, or are your hands tied? Are you the REAL manager of SA? Do you actually have the power to change things, or are we going to keep getting more of the same foolishness in regard to unqualified personnel, lack of progress and total fiscal irresponsibility?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

SA Strengthens My Belief that CI-81 was Overpressurized

SA's "Addendum to SA case report for patient CI-81" from SA's News Bulletin Number 12 ( appears in italics, below. My comments appear in bold.

Addendum to SA case report for patient CI-81

1. Heparin.
The precise time and dosage of heparin administered remains undetermined. We will continue to investigate this issue. No blood clots were observed in effluent during washout. The medications protocol that SA uses does include multiple agents that modulate the clotting cascade.

Does the SA medications protocol now include verifying a proper loading dose of heparin has been given, and call for maintenance doses, in response to my criticisms? My guess is, it does. I'm not going to go into a technical discussion of the coagulation cascade, but I stand firm in my opinion that cryonics patients should be adequately heparinized, regardless of the other "multiple agents" SA, (or any other organization), may be administering. Note that, in the SA case report, while the mortician did not SEE any clots, they were unable to "get good steady flow." SA failed to include flow and pressure charts in their report, but taking the time and volume into consideration, and adding the remarks made about pressure, the perfusion flows were extremely low, while pressures were high. This could be an indication of extensive clotting.

2. Washout.
The report contains an inaccuracy in its description of procedures at the mortuary. It describes the mortician finding blood spurting when he made an incision in the femoral vein. This event actually occurred when an incision was made in the femoral artery (see source text below). Since the air transportable perfusion (ATP) unit was not connected to the patient until after blood was drained on the venous side, active chest compressions and residual diastolic pressure may have caused blood to spurt from the arterial side.

I disagree. I don't think anyone can prove this occurred during an incision into the femoral artery, based on the "source text". In fact, I think the "source text" further verifies my suspicions that this patient was overpressurized. See my further comments, below.

3. Mannitol.
A statement attributed to the Consulting MD, regarding prevention of crystallization of mannitol by storing it in small glass containers, is incorrect. The Consulting MD did not state that such crystallization is impossible, only that in his experience it is less likely to occur than if the mannitol is stored in bags.

The "Consulting MD" has publicly printed blatant lies about a former SA employee whom he does not know, and in my opinion, he has also made many questionable comments regarding medical protocols and procedures. I think it's foolish for SA, (or anyone else), to make decisions based on his input. Why not consult with the supplier of the Mannitol in this situation? That would be the logical thing to do, wouldn't it?

Excerpts from Reference Sources
(except for names, case notes are unedited)

From the second team member’s case notes:
The mortician raised the femoral, chest compressions were still being administered, the ATP had been primed by the third team member, the mortician cut the femoral and the pressure in the vessel shot blood out onto his legs, he had no problem with he cannula, the pump was set to very low and blood was drawn back into the cannula and a near perfect bubble-less connection was made by the third team member (ATP) and the second team member (cannula).

Only someone who has little-to-no perfusion knowledge/experience would fail to realize that this, in fact, indicates the vessel being cannulated was on the venous side of the perfusion circuit. There is positive pressure on the arterial side, and negative pressure on the venous side, of the circuit. Blood does NOT get "drawn back into the cannula" on the arterial side of the circuit; it only gets pushed out. However, it definitely DOES get "drawn in" to the venous line, which is open to the reservoir. The statement that the "pump was set to very low and blood was drawn back into the cannula" indicates VERY STRONGLY this was a VENOUS cannulation. While blood can be drawn back into an arterial line when using a centrifugal pump that is not turned on, SA uses an occlusive pump that prevents this from happening, even if the pump is turned off. The perfusionist does not need to clamp the arterial line, (though they do), when turning the pump off while using an occlusive pump...the pump itself acts as a "clamp" and blood does not flow retrograde (in a reverse direction, toward the pump), in the arterial line.

From the third team member’s case notes:
We placed some bags of ice around his had and proceeded in making more bag of ice. I then continued to give chest compressions while the mortician started cutting into the femoral artery I could tell that I was making it harder for him and asked if he wanted me to stop while he cut in. He said it would help if I stop for a bit, I continue compressions whenever I saw an opening where he wasn’t cutting or tying to suture. He stated that the patient had a very big artery and as he sliced into it a large squirt of blood shot out and onto his apron onto his leg and onto his shoe, I wasn’t pumping the chest at that point.

Don't misunderstand these remarks. The compressions were making the cannulation difficult for the mortician, due to the movement of the patient, NOT any amount of vascular pressure being generated. The fact that Ken was continuing compressions "whenever (Ken) saw an opening where he (the mortician) wasn't cutting or tying to suture" indicates there was a good amount of the cannulation process being completed during this time. The normal cannulation sequence is femoral artery, followed by femoral vein. Based on my professional knowledge and vast experience with the cannulation process as a perfusionist, I still believe the mortician completed the cannulation of the femoral artery, (while Ken was providing intermittant chest compressions, and without the "spurting" of any blood), the pump was turned on and pressurizing the patient, and then the mortician cut into the femoral vein which provided "blood spurting onto him (the mortician) under pressure from the cannula that was already attached to the ATP on the arterial side" (a direct quote from the original SA case report). Referring back to the original SA report, the comment about the "large artery" was made well before the spurting of the blood, again confirming my suspicion that the spurt was cased by pressurization from the perfusion circuit during an incision into the femoral vein. Ken's comment that a "large squirt of blood shot out and onto his apron onto his leg and onto his shoe, I wasn’t pumping the chest at that point" again confirms my opinions. This type of spurt was not caused by any residual pressure from manual CPS; it was almost certainly caused by the improper pressurization of the patient. I believe any experienced perfusionist would agree this is the logical interpretation of the information provided not only in SA's original case report, but now verified in this addendum.

From the third team member’s case notes:
I noticed the mortician was pulling on a slide that was pulling blood from the leg; I assumed this devise was provided by SA, the second team member asked if he was done and I went from compressions to the other side of the ATP. I explained to the second team member that I was going to pull the hose apart and plug it into the cannula that he had sewn into the body, and that we need to make sure that little to no air entered as we did this.

This is meaningless, without the full context. I'm not even sure why it has been included. However, it possibly places Ken and Gary in a discussion at the ATP and lengthens the time between the last chest compressions performed by Ken, and the spurt.

Final Comments: While I know certain people who have the best of intentions want to believe the spurt occurred during an arterial incision, due to residual pressure from manual chest compressions that most likely had not been performed for at least a minute, or two, prior to the spurt, this is EXTREMELY unlikely. I admire you and your diligent studies, but with all due respect, none of you are knowledgeable enough about clinical perfusion to interpret your own report as any experienced perfusionist would.

One last comment I would like to make is, two of the three SA staff members who were at the CI-81 case have allowed Charles Platt to write documents for them, in the past. In my opinion, these two people are not knowledgeable enough about the procedures to write their own reports, and neither of them has very good writing skills. I'm going to speculate here, that Charles Platt (who was not present for the case) assisted at least these two members of the SA team to draft their case reports, (either officially, or unofficially), something that would be highly improper. I find it nearly impossible to believe these two people sat down and wrote their own case reports, without first discussing the case with Platt and/or others. This is speculation, based on my past experiences at SA. I will not make any remarks on the third person, as I do not know of that person allowing Platt to write documents for him. I will, however, say that I doubt that person would be able to distinguish a femoral artery from a femoral vein.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Review of Platt's Alcor Conference Review

Platt: I enjoyed seeing many old friends. The only person I had hoped to see, who didn't show up, was Melody Maxim.

How sweet! Seriously, I’m sure Charles is fully aware my husband was only released from the hospital the day the conference began, (after a six-day stay), which is why I was not in attendance. I had looked forward to seeing several people there. Though Charles really wasn’t on my list, I would have been glad to take the opportunity to call him a “liar,” to his face. I had also planned to sit on the front row for Steve Harris’ presentation, though I doubt he said anything new.

As to Charles’ comments about hoping to see me, I believe the odds were running about 2-to1 that he would “storm off, in a huff” at the very sight of me, amongst people who know the two of us, and knew I was planning to attend. Knowing Charles as I do, I would say that would have been a pretty safe bet. Charles can’t stand toe-to-toe with me and win a debate on the issues I have raised here, and I doubt, very seriously, that he could look me in the eyes and repeat the lies he and I both know he has told about me to Saul Kent and Steve Harris and on the Cold Filter Forum.

Platt: Since cryonics is a dynamically evolving field, a more forward-looking openingspeech might have been appropriate.

“Dynamically evolving”??? And where is this “dynamic evolution” occurring, Charles? You don’t give Alcor credit for the progress they have made, and most of the equipment you’ve designed for SA looks like prehistoric versions of equipment that has been readily available on the market, for decades. As I recently wrote, there is nothing new about “cryonics standby, stabilization and transport,” it’s just really just CPS (perfusion is a form of CPS) and the procedures involved have been successfully performed for MANY decades. I do so wish Charles would stop trying to re-invent the wheel and quit trying to bamboozle people into believing he is doing something new and fabulous.

Platt: This is a problem for me, because if the last 15 years of involvement in cryonics have taught me one thing, it is that all cryonics organizations have significant problems. I find it useful to admit and examine these problems as a first step toward solving them.

It’s my observation Charles occasionally makes a big show of admitting mistakes, but that’s all it is…a “big show”. Most instances of this occur when he is trying to convince Kent he’s made a mistake in regard to hiring someone, such as Mathew Sullivan, Bary Wilson, myself, and no doubt quite a few others before us. He won’t admit he’s been wrong about things like equipment and protocols SA has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on. He just keeps convincing Kent to hire new people, and then finds a way to get Kent to fire them, or run them off, in the hopes of finding someone unintelligent enough, or corrupt enough, to support him the way a few certain overpaid individuals have. I think many people would agree PLATT has been SA’s most “significant problem,” too bad he won’t admit THAT.

Platt: I also feel that this is a field where an inspirational approach may be more appropriate than the kind of bland progress report one would expect from a conventional company…. Some drama is necessary. Cryonics, after all, truly is one of the most dramatic initiatives in all of human history. If you downplay this, you sacrifice one of the most important aspects of thefield.

Then, Charles should truly be enjoying my posts on the Cold Filer Forum. In all seriousness, I believe this bit of Charles’ report shows his one and only true interest in cryonics. I’ve been told he has said that, “once cryonics becomes widely accepted, or normal,” he will no longer be interested in it. That fits in with what I know of Charles.

Platt: When my significant other reads _Life Extension,_ she always ends up feeling that she absolutely, positively has to pick up the phone immediately to buy a new related product. When she opens _Cryonics_ magazine, she seldom finishes reading it, and has become apathetic about her Alcor membership.Of course, she may not be typical.

She’s not typical. According to Charles, his significant other has great difficulty reading English, which is not her first language. He once asked me to read one of his romance novels, as a friend, and give him my review. I asked him what his significant other thought of it and he told me that, during the ten years they had been together, she had never read ANY of his novels, because it would take her “six months” to read ONE of them, and then she probably wouldn’t understand it. Now, he’s putting her forth as some sort of literary critic. Typical Platt behavior…most likely, he’s just using this opportunity to criticize Alcor and suck up to LEF at the same time.

On one occasion, I was admiring a truly beautiful calendar hanging near Charles’ desk. He told me he took the photos and wrote the text for it. Later, when I was complaining about his significant other’s (SA’s alleged web designer) failure to do any work on the web site over a period of nearly three months, he expounded on her talents, saying she had won an award for designing that same calendar. I asked, “What did she do? Draw the squares?” (Actually, I believe there were a few expletives in my original comments.)

Personally, I believe Platt uses his significant other for a tax advantage. All of us at SA thought he was doing the work on the web, but a partnership owned by Charles and the significant other was getting paid for it. I tend to believe there have been more than a few projects Charles actually did, but the significant other has been paid for.

Platt: h) Alcor Directors Panel…However Saul declined to participate, prompting one member of the audience to ask why. "I prefer not to," he said. No one pressed him for a more illuminating explanation.

Saul comes across to me, as thinking of himself as “above it all.” The problem with being “above it all,” is that you might not know what’s REALLY going on down in the trenches. Perhaps cryonicists should insist Saul Kent provide some “illuminating explanations,” on a number of topics, such as his seemingly blind faith in Charles Platt.

Platt: I found this suggestion intriguing, since anyone familiar with Alcor's history might conclude that the organization has been anything *but* stable. I'll list just a few random examples that come to mind. I'm not saying whose fault these problems were, only that they all occurred under the current system of a self-elected board.

My only comment here is, I believe Charles played a role in some of the past “instability” of Alcor.

Platt: For a good historical record of stability, I cite the Cryonics Institute. It has been around for almost as long as Alcor and has experienced none of the upheavals, with the exception of a run-in with local regulators that caused the Institute to be classified as a cemetery. However thisappears to have been provoked by the furor surrounding Alcor in the Arizona legislature.

Being “around” for a long period of time, doesn’t necessarily indicate progress, nor rule out stagnation. One is unlikely to encounter many obstacles, while standing still. (I’m not saying CI hasn’t accomplished anything, I’m just disagreeing with the comparison, as the two companies are very different in a number of ways.) How convenient for Charles to be able to blame Alcor for CI’s political problems.

Platt: As Dr. Crippen put it, if we allow people to choose to be pronounced when their brains (and other organs) are still viable, we may descend a slippery slope which leads ultimately to people auctioning their body parts on eBay.

At this point, even though I have had many friendly exchanges with David Crippen, I became so concerned by what I felt was a form of paternalism, I could not remain silent. "Why not?" I shouted. A few other malcontents voiced their agreement.

There’s not a paternalistic bone in Charles Platt’s body. It’s easy for me to envision Charles shouting out from a crowd, though, as it’s not quite as courageous as walking up to the microphone and asking a question, (Did they do that, this year?), or personally asking the question to Dr. Crippen’s face.

Platt: Dr. Crippen seemed stunned. *Why not* allow people to sell pieces of themselves on eBay? Apparently no one in his entire medical career had ever suggested such a concept seriously to him. In response, he said that allowing this kind of thing would lead to exploitation of people who were the most vulnerable in society--poor people especially. I was not able to determine whether he felt they would be exploited because they would be tempted to sell their own organs, or because they would be unable to obtain organs, since organs might not be "free" anymore.

Dr. Crippen was probably stunned that anyone would ask such a question, as anyone of reasonable intelligence should be able to ascertain that the auctioning off of one’s organs is unlikely to be an acceptable practice, anytime soon. Only someone as arrogant as Charles Platt could assume he was the first to suggest this to Dr. Crippen. I’m sure the private sale of human organs has been a widely-debated topic, for a very long time. Maybe Charles should use his writing skills to promote this idea, if he’s so fond of it, rather than patting himself on the back for heckling Dr. Crippen.

Platt: Cryonicists should realize a) we may still be regarded as a lunatic libertarian fringe by many people in the conventional medical establishment,

Charles writes “we,” but I believe it was he who told me the definition of a cryonicist is “someone who has made arrangements for their own cryopreservation.” He remarks, at the bottom of his review, that he is not a member of Alcor, and when I was at SA, he told me he was not signed up with ANY organization. (I don’t necessarily agree with the definition of “cryonicist” as relayed to me, by Charles, I’m just pointing out that he is perhaps masquerading as something he has told me he was not.)

Platt: b) Steve Harris MD
Following the panel, Steve described the procedure generally known as liquid ventilation which entails infusing the lungs with a chilled breathable liquid while blood is circulated either by natural heartbeats or, in the case of a cryonics case, by cardiopulmonary support. Liquid ventilation enables exceptionally rapid cooling. Only extracorporeal bypass is faster, but it must be preceded by surgery in an appropriate environment. Liquid ventilation can be performedspontaneously in almost any location, and should require relatively little training of personnel.

Steve Harris has been TALKING ABOUT liquid ventilation for a very long time, and not much more. Liquid ventilation experiments on dogs were carried out during the First World War, and I believe there are papers dating back to the 1920’s on this topic. Harris seems to have “made his mark” on the small world of cryonics, during some LV experiments he did with Mike Darwin. I believe that was more than a decade ago. What progress has he made since then?

Platt: The procedure has advanced to the point where it may be deployable by Suspended Animation in human cryonics cases during 2008.

More “smoke and mirrors.” The term “liquid ventilation” implies the intention to deliver oxygen and if that is the intention, recent studies indicate liquid ventilation has not been more beneficial to patients than conventional mechanical ventilation (CMV), neither has it caused less damage than CMV, as had been hoped.

I still am of the opinion that delivering oxygen to ischemic cryonics patients causes more harm than good. On the other hand, I think lung lavage may prove to be a very easy and efficient way to initially cool cryonics patients. Based on Harris’ CF posts, I believe the “LV” contraption Platt built for SA has taken up residence at CCR, because it’s far too large for field work, which is what Platt was supposedly designing it for. It’s a relatively simple device, and it could easily be made portable. My belief is, Platt and Harris have already been allowed to bill LEF (via SA and CCR), a rather large sum of money for design, fabrication hours, and experimental hours, for this project, and will continue to do so for a long period of time to come, before this project is ready for the field…if it EVER is. (Hopefully, my goading will push them toward actually completing this project.)

It’s my opinion that Platt has been bilking LEF/SA for years for his amateur design projects such as PIBs, ramps, level detectors, all of which could be purchased “as is” or easily adapted from existing equipment, at an EXTREMELY small percentage of what has been paid to Platt for his contraptions. The amount of time and money that have been spent on Platt’s amateur design and engineering projects is truly mind-boggling.

Platt: Animal trials have yielded consistent results exceeding a cooling rate of 1 degree Celsius per minute, in dogs that fully recovered afterward. Higher rates may be feasible if we are willing to inflict some lung damage, which would be acceptable to neuropatients and might also be tolerated by some whole-body cryonics patients.

Again, how many years has Harris been talking about this? Weren’t the initial experiments he did with Darwin, more than a decade ago? I have a feeling about as much gets done at CCR as SA.

Platt: Unfortunately Steve's presentation was significantly longer than the program time permitted, and he had to stop about half-way through his PowerPoint slides.

I’m sure the remaining slides would be just as fascinating as Harris’ technical posts on CF, but not nearly as interesting, or revealing, as his attacks on me, someone he doesn’t even know.

Platt: Tanya Jones showed us the new rat lab which has been set up primarily by Chana Williford. This looks ready to begin work, and should have the potential to yield some interestingresults. Tanya said that one goal is to determine how long an animal can be placed on bypass

Are we talking about with blood in the circulation? If so, people, (most often infants) are frequently perfused on ECMO machines (perfusion machines very similar to heart-lung machines), for weeks, quite successfully. (A question and a comment for Alcor, not really in response to Charles' report.)

Platt (in regard to the vitrification software): This caused me some chagrin, since I was similarly impressed three years ago when I visited Suspended Animation and saw David Hayes doing a demo of a LabView vitrification control system. At that time I was too naive to realize that the system had very little functionality beneath its user interface.

This reminds me of how I feel about SA, which in my opinion, has very little functionality beneath its slick “user interface” (their website and Platt’s propaganda).

Platt: e) Portable Ice Bath

Charles used 1,295 words to review the Alcor PIB. How many years has Charles been billing SA for designing, fabricating, and redesigning PIB after PIB? Did he bill Alcor for PIB designs, prior to coming to SA? How many thousands, (or tens of thousands), of dollars is Kent going to give Platt to perfect this REALLY SIMPLY project?

Platt: the bath looked too small for tall or obese patients, and I wondered if it was strong enough for rough handling when it was fully loaded with a body and a lot of ice.

Charles didn’t have to “wonder” about this. These baskets are considered sturdy enough to airlift patients from remote, wilderness locations, and the weight capacity is on the manufacturer’s web site, for all the world to see. I believe it was Michelle Fry, who is now affiliated with SA, who recommended the use of this type of basket for the PIB at Alcor.

Platt: Lastly there was no way to reduce the length of the bath to fit in elevators or go around tight turns in hallways. One of the many things I learned from Hugh Hixon over the years isthat articulated or telescopic ends to a PIB are very useful for this purpose.

I spent a decade in medicine, and I’ve never seen a need for telescoping ends on patient beds, surgical tables, or EMT/paramedic gurneys.

Platt: I also learned from the PIB developed by David Shumaker and Mike Quinn before I joined Suspended Animation that a waist-high PIB has immense advantages. The Alcor version, like its predecessors, is at floor height, which makes manual CPS very awkward. Also, since a patient must be elevated before blood washout can begin, either the patient has to be lifted out of the PIB onto an operating table, or the entire PIB has to be raised.

This is valid, but the legged version has its disadvantages, also. The legs on SA’s PIB make it unstable in the vehicle. Having a lower center of gravity would be advantageous for both the patient and the care providers. (Yes, I know, they have those handy-dandy locking mechanisms in the SA vehicles, but most clients would be picked up in a rental vehicle from the airport nearest to their home, not one of the SA vehicles.) Collapsible legs, (something I suggested in my early days at SA), such as those on EMT/paramedic gurneys may be the answer to this issue.

Platt: would guess that the chickenwire would be vulnerable to damage during baggage handling.

Translation: “I really think SA should continue to pay me, indefinitely, for designing and building PIBs.”

Platt: Overall however I still tend to think that the requirements for an ice bath in a cryonics case are so unusual and so different from anything in conventional emergency medicine, I question whether medical equipment can be adapted successfully.

For goodness sakes, the PIB is just a rectangular structure fitted with a vinyl liner…an over-sized collapsible “ice chest,” of sorts. I believe it is in Charles’ own best financial interest to consistently question whether medical equipment can be adapted for cryonics procedures. It is to his benefit to have people believe cryonics procedures are “so unusual and so different from anything in conventional emergency medicine,” when that most often is not true. Cryonics procedures are nearly identical to existing medical procedures, (which is why I believe cryonics is a valid area of science). The main differences are the solutions being used and the degree of cooling, and neither of those things requires millions of dollars to be spent on the development of “unique” equipment by a wannabe engineer/designer. I believe the only reasons Charles has been able to fool so many people, in this regard, is the lack of familiarity with existing medical equipment by most cryonicists, and with the aid of his excellent graphics. In addition to being a very good writer, Charles is very skilled with graphic design software, I’ll give him that. Just remember that “good graphics do not a good design make.”

Platt: f) Minimizing Standby Kits
Steve gave great emphasis to a current endeavor to "minimize" standby equipment. Supposedly Alcor will reduce the number of Pelican-brand transport containers from 7 to 3, although he did not say what would be left out to achieve this. Since Suspended Animation has gone in the opposite direction, *adding* several containers during the past three years, obviously I am out of sympathy with the Alcor approach.

It would be an excellent decision to reduce the number of transport containers, and SA’s propensity for going in the opposite direction is just more evidence of Platt’s poor management and decision making skills. More is not better, in this situation, for anyone other than Charles who gets to design all those cute little plastic organizers and foam cut-outs for the SA transport containers, and write up all the protocols and media propaganda that includes more details about the contents of those containers than needs to be made public, a practice that makes it easy for the information to become outdated. For instance, why put something like “three temperature logging devices” instead of simply “temperature logging devices”? What if you change to two, or four, later on? Then, your website, or information you have posted on someone else’s website, becomes obsolete. Charles is a true master of creating “busy work” and literary “padding.”

Platt: But without more information there is not much to say, except to note that the 3 Pelicans do not include a mechanical CPS device, which I would have thought is fundamental.

If a mechanical CPS device is so “fundamental,” why did Charles, as “Team Coordinator,” elect not to take the Michigan Instruments Thumper to the CI-81 case? (He may say they took the AutoPulse, instead, but the AutoPulse was an unproven prototype, at the time, and failed almost as soon as it was deployed.

Platt: the massive occlusive pump that has been a fixture in Alcor kits for many years (and is still used at Suspended Animation). I would be delighted to retire that piece of equipment,

Too bad Charles bought EIGHT of these pumps, before deciding he didn’t like them, (four of them after I arrived on the scene and advised him to opt for centrifugal pumps).

Platt: but I don't know whether the centrifugal pump in the new Alcor system is capable of equivalent performance. In particular, I wonder if it can deliver 3 liters per minute, and whether it can develop a pressure of 250 mm mercury. While such a high pressure would normally be required only when using a high flow rate with the smallest cannula (generating considerable back pressure), a consulting perfusionist who advised Suspended Animation did advocate this capability.

I supplied Charles with a large amount of information on centrifugal pumps, as far back as March of 2006, and informed him ON DOZENS OF OCCASIONS that I used centrifugal pumps in heart surgery for the vast majority of my approximately 1,500 cases. (Don’t go there, Harris, you’ll only make yourself look foolish, again.) Typical flows for adult heart surgery are in the 3 – 6 liters-per-minute range, something I told Charles, many, many times. One of the FIRST suggestions I made to SA was to use centrifugal pumps for the washout procedure.

Yes, Charles…the centrifugal pump can be used to develop a pressure of 250mm Hg, and higher, though I don’t know why anyone would want to. It is extremely unlikely the pressure will ever reach 250mmHg in the perfusion circuit during a cryonics washout procedure, (unless something is wrong, like a kinked line), even using a small cannula, (unless SA is planning on over-pressurizing patients).

No, Charles…the new Alcor centrifugal pump is not capable of “equivalent performance” to the ill-advised occlusive pumps being used at SA. Unlike the SA pumps that will continue to pump at the set flow rate in the presence of increasing pressure until something, (either the perfusion circuit, or the patient), blows apart, the centrifugal pumps will deliver less flow in response to increasing pressures, making the system infinitely more safe. (Something I’ve said to Charles, on dozens of occasions.)

Why Charles refused to take my advice on this topic, more than 18 months ago, is beyond my comprehension. Does he realize he just admitted I advised him to use centrifugal pumps for washout and he didn't follow my advice? What is his excuse for this? He's admitting to ignoring the professional advice of a qualified, highly-paid consultant whom he retained, later recommended as a fulltime employee, and then tried to promote as a candidate for the management position?

If he doubted my advice, why didn't he explore it further, rather than just ignore it and buy four more occlusive pumps? He could have consulted with CCR's perfusionist, or verified the capabilities of the equipment I was recommending, for himself, through the manufacturers. He could have easily found hundreds of articles on the Internet, regarding the use of centrifugal pumps and typical flows during heart surgery.

Platt doesn’t want to admit he blew making the best choice, in regard to the pumps he purchased for SA's washout procedure. Alcor is most likely going to introduce the more safe centrifugal pumps, before the “experts in standby, stabilization and transport” at SA do. SA could have “beaten Alcor to the punch,” if Platt had been willing to follow my advice and suggestions, back in March 2006. Instead, he basically misrepresented the situation, by telling me the washout solution was “too viscous” for the centrifugal pumps, and I was too new to the field to know better. In addition, I trusted him, at the time. I believe he is attempting to cover himself for making not one, but two, huge mistakes in regard to the purchasing of two sets of four pumps. (Are you paying attention, Saul Kent??? You wanted to be “better” than Alcor, and you could have been, at least in the area of washout perfusion, but Platt blew it.)

Platt: In addition the new Alcor ATP did not seem to have a good pressure monitor; the reservoir bag was very small (could easily be made bigger)

Could it be that Alcor cannot afford the expensive pressure alarms I was able to convince Saul to allow us to purchase for SA, (very simple devices the RUPs could not figure out how to use at the last case)? I happen to know those alarms are an Alcor’s wish list.

I don’t know what Charles is referring to, in regard to the “reservoir bag” he thought was too small. I was under the impression Alcor was using the large hardshell reservoir, but I believe they were also exploring “closed” circuits, at one time, in which case there would be no reservoir. I’ll inquire about this.

Platt: and I didn't see high/low liquid level alarms.

I see Charles is still trying to promote his own extremely expensive, invasive, high-level alarms that never worked. Amusing.

Platt: I was puzzled by the decision to minimize the number of containers in transport work, because this seems a secondary issue to me.

It’s my observation that Charles is often puzzled by intelligent, common sense suggestions and ideas. A couple of times in his review of the Alcor Conference, Charles states Alcor personnel, Steve Van Sickle, in particular, were unresponsive or unreceptive to his questions, but I’ve been told it was quite the other way around, and that Charles went out of his way to avoid contact with them, and did not ask questions on the tour that went unanswered.

Platt: Surely the primary concern is whether a cryonics organization is ready to do cases. This readiness issue is very mundane and rests on wearisome tasks such as inventorycontrol, swapping out expired meds, running training sessions, practice sessions, and emergency simulations, finding medically qualified help,

The SA training sessions run by Platt were a ridiculous waste of time and money, in my opinion, as a medical professional familiar with the procedures being attempted. “A science fiction writer trying to teach shop workers and golfers how to do medical procedures,” would be a valid description. As soon as the paramedics left, Platt would set about criticizing them and explaining why their suggestions were inappropriate, in favor of his own plans.

Charles has never expended any significant amount of energy searching for medically qualified help, as far as I can see. While I was at SA, the entire focus of the company seemed to be on building his amateur designs, and my guess is that has been the focus of SA, for more than three years, now. Occasionally, Charles “buddies up to” someone with medical credentials, in the hopes they will validate his madness, but I think everyone can see how this has worked out, over the years.

According to recent posts on CF, Michelle Fry, a former employee of Alcor, is now working with SA. He tried to steal her from Alcor, once before, during a training session Alcor held at the SA facility. Rumor has it he brought her into SA, just after my departure, but she had to return to her old job, due to some sort of family issues. Of course, it's not unusual that her coming and going wasn’t mentioned on the SA website, the first time around. Now we have her posting on behalf of SA on the CF forum, along with someone else’s vague remarks about “medical professionals” at SA, though there’s no changes on the staff page. (Some things never change.)

I thought Michelle was a paramedic, but I’m not sure of this. The Alcor comment at the time of her hire stated she “comes to us from a group of EMTs based in Laughlin, Nevada,” but this does not indicate if she, herself, is a paramedic or EMT. I’ve heard she previously worked as a dealer, in a casino. Perhaps she came to be associated with cryonics through Mr. Laughlin.

If Platt has brought Fry to SA, I believe we may be seeing a replay of Platt’s “Wilson/Maxim” episode. He brought in Bary Wilson as a highly qualified manager. When Bary didn’t want to do everything Charles’ way, Charles set about discrediting him, and brought me in to replace him. (Charles can lie about this all he wants, but Bary, Charles, Saul and I all know it’s true, and I have many emails from Charles that would prove it was his intention to replace Bary with me.) I don’t think it’s a stretch of my imagination to think there’s a possibility Ms. Baldwin, (who seems to be somewhat comparable to Dr. Wilson), is already questioning some of Platt’s antics, and that he has brought in Fry, possibly with the promise of the management position, (just speculation).

Platt: writing SOPs, and performing inspections. Hardly anyone enjoys this kind ofwork, and moreover, no one receives any special reward for doing it well.

"No special reward?" In my opinion, Charles has been rewarded quite handsomely for doing it poorly.

Platt: You really never know how good your state of readiness is until there's an emergency, and even when that occurs, outsiders may still not know if you did a decent job, unlessyou take the time to produce a very detailed and honest case summary.

I’m not so sure about that “honest” remark, as the people who wrote and reviewed SA’s report weren’t even at the case. How “honest” can you be when you weren’t there and the people who were there didn’t really understand the procedures and made contradictory statements? It took them a long period of time to write, review, and revise the report, and after harsh criticisms, they are now further revising it, something I will comment on further, at another time.

Platt: Needless to say, this entire report reflects a viewpoint of just one person who is by no means typical of Alcor's membership. Indeed, while I remain passionate about cryonics

To Saul Kent and Ben Best:
Charles may be whispering words of love, passion and commitment in your ears, but I firmly believe he’s really just *using* you. I don’t think he cares about cryonics at all, other than in regard to the money he makes, and the opportunity it gives him to promote himself as some sort of “expert.”

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Steven B Harris M.D.

On September 17, Steven B. Harris M.D. of Critical Care Research (CCR) made a post titled "More Bits Than Pieces," on the "Cold Filter" cryonics forum.

In this post, Harris, a man who does not know me, personally, and who has no firsthand knowledge of the events that transpired at Suspended Animation, Inc., (SA) while I was employed at that company, attempted to make it appear as though I had been negligent by placing a gas blender into the SA operating room, but not connecting it to a compressed air source. He also implied I was being negligent by failing to connect oxygen to the new oxygenator in the perfusion circuit in that room. It should be noted that both CCR and SA are funded by Kent and Faloon's Life Extension Foundation (LEF). Here's the quote from Harris' post (linked above):

HARRIS: "And I see you put a gas blender into the O.R., too, but didn't bother to hook it to any compressed air source (nor was there one in the building), making it worse than useless. Did you have a good laugh about that, too? We didn't after you left. Nor was there any oxygen connected from tank to new oxygenator."

First of all, I did not put the gas blender in the SA operating room; when I resigned from SA, the blender was sitting on a shelf in my office. Secondly, there was no need for the blender, nor compressed gas, in the SA operating room. The SA operating room was being prepared for vitrification, and it was a long way from completion. (SA has yet to master the washout procedure, which is infinitely more simple than the vitrification procedure.)

The perfusion circuit in the SA operating room is a prototype that doesn't even come close to being clean, much less sterile. I believe the oxygenator in that circuit was more than ten years old and, no doubt, well beyond its expiration date. That model of oxygenator has not been in production for a very long time. Mathew and I had made many cuts into the tubing of that circuit, with non-sterile scissors and bare hands...because it was a PROTOTYPE, not to be used on a patient. There was absolutely no reason to connect oxygen, (or any other type of gas), to the oxygenator, as Harris implies I should have.

Kelly Kingston's cat had free reign of the SA facility, while I worked there, including the operating room, where it frequently enjoyed climbing on the perfusion circuit. Open-ended tubing and suction tips connected to the circuit were lying in the open, on a non-sterile surgical table and even on the floor. This was a very dirty circuit that was mostly being used by Mathew, Aschwin and myself, to discuss the layout of such a circuit and possible improvements that could be made.

Harris' comments (accusations) on this topic were so bizarre, I couldn't even believe what he was stating, at first. It wasn't until someone else suggested to me that he was possibly making the mistaken assumption that the room was being set up for washout, (rather than vitrification), that his foolish comments began to make any sense at all.

I posted a rather rambling, repetitive reply to his accusations on the "Cold Filter" forum, on September 21. and on my blog. I bored even myself, by stating the obvious, over-and-over again, trying to figure out just HOW he came to make the rather non-sensical accusations he made. Harris didn't reply to my post, so I condensed my reponse and made a new post, on September 25. Here is the text of that post:

Four days, and I'm still waiting for Harris to enlighten us as to why he thinks I should have connected oxygen and compressed air, via a gas blender, to a contaminated prototype of a vitrification circuit in the Suspended Animation operating room, which wasn't anywhere near completion.

DID Harris mistake the complex, obviously non-sterile vitrification circuit prototype for a sterile washout circuit? (Only someone totally unfamiliar with cryonics procedures would make a mistake like this.)

DID Harris not realize the oxygenator he referred to as "new" has been out of production for a very long time?

DID Harris even see the circuit he's accusing me of neglecting, or was this inappropriate criticism just more garbage he collected from Platt?

Does Harris think oxygen, compressed air and a gas blender are needed for vitrification? Are they? (I don't think so. Some other gases might be appropriate, but Harris hasn't mentioned those.)

Maybe, after Harris gets around to answering these questions, he can move on to explaining why he thinks the "Consulting M.D." for a cryonics case, (being conducted by two metal fabricators and an office clerk), is only obligated to answer questions that are specifically asked. (He previously reported he would have told the SA team to give more heparin, IF they had asked him. I guess he would have also told them to cool more than they did, and a couple dozen other things...IF they had asked him.)

I believe Harris tried to excuse not giving more heparin, by stating the SA team also gave CPD. Perhaps he would like to explain to this forum why CPD is used primarily for banked blood, and why thousands of heart teams all around the world will be dosing their patients with heparin, today, not CPD. (Keep in mind that CI-81 was subjected to manual CPS at mildly hypothermic temperatures, for nearly three hours, prior to having his blood washed out.) Maybe Harris would also like to explain why CPD isn't considered as one of the alternatives to heparin during heart surgery, even in the event the patient is known to be at risk for heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT), a life-threatening condition.

Only someone who had absolutely NO cryonics perfusion experience, or someone who had never seen the circuit Harris was referring to, or someone willing to tell blatant lies to discredit someone else, would make the statements Harris made. The last possibility seems to be the most likely choice, as Harris has also publicly questioned my credentials and employment history. (My references are impeccable, and the number of perfusion cases I have performed can be verified by two heart surgeons, a Chief Perfusionist, the surgical clinic I worked for, the coordinators of the heart programs at the two hospitals where my group did cases, a rather large group of anesthesia doctors who documented the name of the perfusionist in their case logs, and quite a few other persons, if necessary.) Finally, Harris accuses me of stealing documents from SA employee files I never had access to. One document he accuses me of stealing never existed.

What gives Harris the right to make these types of accusations??? I think some retractions and apologies are in order, in regard to Harris' extremely unprofessional behavior and false accusations.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Steve Harris' Mistaken Assumptions About SA's Operating Room

In response to Harris' "More Bits Than Pieces" post, of September 17 on the "Cold Filter" forum:

HARRIS: "And I see you put a gas blender into the O.R., too, but didn't bother to hook it to any compressed air source (nor was there one in the building), making it worse than useless. Did you have a good laugh about that, too? We didn't after you left. Nor was there any oxygen connected from tank to new oxygenator."

Harris might not be laughing, and I had no reason to laugh about this (or even to think about it), when I left SA, but I'm laughing pretty hard, right now.

Harris assumed I took the gas blender into the O.R., but someone has pointed out to me that he is perhaps making an even greater assumption than that. Did Harris mistakenly think the SA O.R. was set up for a washout procedure??? He must have, otherwise, why would he think having oxygen, compressed air or a gas blender in that room was a critical matter? The operating room at Suspended Animation, Inc. was being prepared for cryopreservation (vitrification), NOT the washout procedure, (though the two processes could be combined, in the ideal situation that a patient could be quickly brought to a facility that had those capabilities.)

So...just why IS Harris making a big deal out of oxygen not being "connected from tank to new oxygenator"? The oxygenator he's referring to wasn't "new," by any means. When I left SA, the only oxygenator in the O.R. was probably more than ten years old. The reason for this is, it was in a NON-STERILE PROTOTYPE VITRIFICATION CIRCUIT Mathew had built. SA is nowhere near vitrification capability, (and, at the rate they are progressing, I doubt they ever will be!). So, why does Harris think it's critical that oxygen should have been hooked up to the prototype vitrification circuit???

DID Harris mistakenly think the complicated, OBVIOUSLY non-sterile circuit in the operating room at SA was a sterile washout circuit, waiting for a patient? Anyone with cryonics experience should have known AT FIRST GLANCE that the circuit in the SA operating room was a non-sterile prototype of a vitrification circuit, and therefore, not have been concerned about the lack of an oxygen hookup. WHAT WAS HARRIS THINKING IN WRITING ABOUT THIS???

I was using the circuit to acquaint myself with the components needed for vitrification, and reviewing the circuit for simplification. Mathew and Aschwin were using it for other purposes. I, myself, made many cuts in the tubing with unwashed scissors and hands. If Harris had looked closely, he could have probably seen cat hairs all over the room, for crissakes, and he's going to act as though I was negligent for not hooking oxygen up to a dirty prototype of a VITRIFICATION circuit? Is he REALLY that unobservant...or is he THAT DESPERATE to discredit me???

The O.R. at SA is being set up for cryopreservation procedures, as obviously evidenced by the prototype of a vitrification circuit in that room (it would be impossible for anyone with cryonics experience to confuse this circuit with a simple washout circuit), the connections in that room to a very expensive chiller used to cool patients to cryogenic temperatures (used during vitrification, NOT washout), and Platt's amateur attempts to build cryogenic cooldown box/shipping containers (when professionally built cryogenic containers are available for just over what SA pays for one 40-hour week of Platt's time). Harris is so busy grasping at straws and Platt's lies, in attempts to discredit me, he's not looking at all the evidence that is right there, staring him in the face. WHY?


Harris might not have laughed about the lack of oxygen in the O.R., but I'm still having a pretty good laugh at him being concerned about that non-issue. To begin with, SA is eons away from being ready to perform cryopreservation (vitrification) procedures. Secondly, I seriously doubt oxygen is of any benefit, whatsoever, during the vitrification process. Oxygen consumption approaches zero, at zero degrees C. The washout procedure is supposed to take the patient to very near this temperature, and the patient is taken well below that temperature at the initiation of the cryopreservation (vitrification) process.

As many people are aware, I have concerns about the use of oxygen in cryonics procedures, at all; I think it probably does more harm than good, in most cases. Harris comes to this forum and claims Newsweek made a mistake in portraying that the renowned Dr. Lance Becker believes post-ischemic oxygenation may cause serious harm, yet neither Becker, nor any of his colleagues, have written that Newsweek was in error. There's a Charles Platt article that refers to Lance Becker as Harris' "competition." Somehow, I doubt that Becker considers Harris a "peer," much less a "competitor." Certainly, someone associated with Lance Becker's research would have objected to any misinformation in the Newsweek article, in a letter to the editors, just as Lewis G. Larsen, President and CEO of Lattice Energy, LLC did, in response to a Platt article in Make Magazine, regarding the work of Dr. Edmund Storms:

"Letter to the Editors of Make Magazine:We have read Charles Platt's published work for a number of years and consider him to be an excellent writer and thoughtful reporter of the leading edge of science, including the controversial subject of cold fusion.

That having been said, we read his July 21, 2005, article, "The Fascination of Extreme Science" and his Make - Volume 03 article titled "A Fusion Reactor for the Rest of Us " which referenced the ongoing work of Dr. Edmund Storms in the field of "cold fusion" (a.k.a. low-energy nuclear reactions) and would like to clarify the following:

1. Dr. Storms is not currently engaged in research in this field as a "solitary endeavor" nor is he a "lone garage scientist" nor is he a "lone scientist" working on his own. Quite to the contrary, he conducts LENR research as an employee, senior scientist, and minority owner of a privately held company named Lattice Energy, LLC which received its initial funding in 2001. Dr. Storms' affiliation with Lattice was not disclosed in the articles other than stating that, "His latest acquisition, the electron microscope, is on loan from a small Chicago company of speculative investors who hope that Storms may make a crucial breakthrough in his one-man research initiative." We do not agree with the characterization that Lattice is a "company of speculative investors." Since its formation, it has conducted R&D activities with a variety of scientists at several institutions, developed a portfolio of intellectual property, and entered into discussions with potential strategic partners. Lattice's business goal is to commercialize the company's proprietary LENR-related technologies. Lattice plans to establish corporate research facilities in the Chicago area in the near future. Dr. Storms was a consultant to the company in 2003, became a senior scientist to the company in 2004, and continues to conduct laboratory experiments for the company on a full-time, exclusive basis.

2. There is only one (not two as stated in the article) major piece of analytical equipment in Dr. Storms' home laboratory. It is a scanning electron microscope (SEM) with an integrated energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer (EDX) used to perform elemental analysis of surface structures seen with the SEM. The SEM/EDX equipment is owned by Lattice and was installed at Dr. Storms' home laboratory in mid-2004 (not in 2005 as stated in the article).

3. Dr. Storms did not devise Lattice's commercialization plan nor was he involved in identifying initial market applications for LENR-based technologies, such as nuclear battery-like devices, or possible manufacturing techniques. Lattice plans to develop actual commercial prototypes at other facilities, not at Dr. Storm's home laboratory.

4. We do not agree with the statement that low-energy nuclear reactions "… violate our understanding of physics." To the contrary, Professor Allan Widom of Northeastern University (Boston, MA), Department of Physics, and I have published a technical paper on the arXiv preprint server that offers an alternative explanation for many anomalous phenomena that have been aggregated under the label of "cold fusion." This paper, "Ultra Low Momentum Neutron Catalyzed Nuclear Reactions on Metallic Hydride Surfaces" can be found at Our theory, if verified experimentally by other laboratories: (a) falls solidly within the established laws of physics; and (b) does not involve any D-D or D-D-like fusion.

Sincerely,Lewis G. Larsen
President and CEO
Lattice Energy, LLC
Chicago, IL(312) 861-0115"

I would guess that, before Harris started attempting to discredit me, most people on the Cold Filter forum, (including myself), had no reason to question or disrespect him, but how much credibility does Harris have, now? Has it yet to even cross his mind that he has made a HUGE mistake in trusting Platt's word, over mine? More importantly, has it crossed Saul Kent's mind that the two people at the helm of two of his cryonics organizations, (one of them allegedly a mere "consultant"), have made little-to-no progress over the years, have publicly engaged in unethical and inappropriate behavior, and have made a laughing stock of everyone associated with one of those organizations? Does he yet realize the biggest problem within that organization has been not only an EXTREME degree of poor management, but CORRUPTION???

Contrary to what many people may believe, the destruction of Suspended Animation, Inc. was not my goal when I set out on this journey. I was, and still am, interested in seeing the TOTAL REFORM of that company. I am fascinated with the science of cryonics, and I want to know if it can really work. I believe it can, based on my previous perfusion experiences. Unfortunately, the total reformation of SA would require Kent breaking all ties with Platt, (and perhaps now Harris, too), and most people tell me that is unlikely to happen. Charles Platt used to tell me the most important thing in the world to Saul Kent was his own successful cryopreservation, but for some odd reason that seems to actually take second place to Kent's blind faith in, and loyalty to, a certain science fiction writer.