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.

1 comment:

Phil said...

Phil was here. Great post.